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January-February 2008

Everyday Heroes o f the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary



National Program


Junior Cadets


California Wing Helps

State Fight Wildfires


U.S. Lawmakers Boost

Alaska SAR Capabilities

New for 2008!

Renew online for a chance to

win a Visa gift card.

Look for details on eServices.

Discover the Value of

Civil Air Patrol!

The Civil Air Patrol offers challenging opportunities for youth 12-18 years old, chaplains,

aerospace education enthusiasts and adults with an interest in homeland security,

search and rescue, disaster relief and

humanitarian missions. Leadership

training, technical education and an

opportunity to participate in aviationrelated

activities are just a few of the

exciting benefits of community service

and CAP membership.

Become a CAP volunteer! For more

information, visit our Web site at or call (800) FLY-2338.



January-February 2008

Photo courtesy of Mustang Survival


2 Helping Above And Below

CAP Aids Southern California Wildfires Response

6 Seeing Evergreen

Partnership Produces Two Schools for Cadets

10 Sky’s The Limit

BOG Member Leads Aviation Safety Company

13 Trailblazing Team

Hawk Instructors First to Attend SAR Games

18 Oil And Water Don’t Mix

CAP Chronicles Oil-Tainted Floodwaters with


22 Paying Tribute

Friends, Colleagues Praise Colonels’ Service

26 Boomerangs in Boaz

Celebration Launches National Junior Cadet Program

31 The Snoopy Patch

Squadron Honors Lasting Symbol Designed By Cadet

34 Hawaii Find-O

Retired Officer Skilled in Apprehending Rogue ELTs

36 Stepping Stone

CAP Leads Member into Forensic Anthropology

38 Ready For Prime Time

Staff College Preps Volunteers for Leadership

40 Winning Team

Vanguard Royalties Benefit Entire Membership

42 Tale of Two Vehicles

Subchaser First Flew, Then Turned to Handmade Cars

44 Cadets Dive Into Fun

Neutral Buoyancy Lab Sparks Space Aspirations

Coldwater immersion suits can be worn over the


required CAP flight suits, thus saving precious time to

conduct search and rescue missions in Alaska’s icy waters.

46 Lost In Alaska?

New Equipment Boosts Volunteers’ SAR Capabilities


8 From Your National Commander

17 From Your National Safety Officer

51 Achievements

53 Region News


The annual subscription rate is $25. To subscribe, mail a

check to Volunteer Subscriptions, CAP Public Affairs, 105 S.

Hansell St., Bldg. 714, Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6332.


Students from Boaz City Schools in Boaz, Ala., express their

excitement just before the national liftoff of Civil Air Patrol’s

prototype Junior Cadet Program Oct. 26. The program,

designed for elementary school-aged students, is being tested

in 20 schools across the nation during the 2007 school year.

Read more about this new educational endeavor on page 26.

Photo by Jim Tynan, CAP National Headquarters.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 1 January-February 2008



Photo by Maj. Robert Keilholtz, California Wing



Flames leap into the sky near a road on Palomar

Mountain, not far from CAP Maj. Robert Keilholtz’s

vacation property. The aerial shot below shows

how close the fire came to the house.

Photo by Capt. Thomas J.

Charpentier, California Wing

By Steve Cox

Members pitch in

from the air and

on the ground in

wake of disaster


Maj. Robert Keilholtz knows the dangers of a

Southern California firestorm.

The California Wing incident commander is an

engineer with the Solana Beach Fire Department,

which stays busy in the fall. So when fierce Santa Ana

winds, gusting at up to 100 mph, moved the Poomacha fire toward his

vacation property on Palomar Mountain, he knew he was in for a fight.

“I stood my ground with a garden hose,” Keilholtz said rather matterof-factly,

explaining that towering flames from the fire came within a few

yards of his mountaintop cabin on the morning of Oct. 24.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 2 January-February 2008

The fire burned up to the exterior wall of the cabin.

“Embers landed on the roof and wood deck. We did

lose one outbuilding, a storage shed,” he said.

A Civil Air Patrol repeater site located nearby was


That anything on the mountaintop was spared was

sheer luck, Keilholtz said.

“Had the wind been

blowing the other way, it

would have burned down

the whole mountain. We

would have lost 200 homes

there,” he said. “That was

lucky for us. The winds

were so strong that it blew

(the fire) off the mountain.”

The deadly wildfires

consumed more than

500,000 acres and 2,000

homes in seven Southern

California counties. At

least 10 people died and

hundreds more were

injured as a result of 20


The Poomacha fire later

merged with the Witch

fire, and ultimately

destroyed more than

200,000 acres. At the

height of the fires, almost 1

million people were under

evacuation orders.

Keilholtz’s dilemma was

not unlike thousands of


“One person’s fortune was another person’s disaster,”

he said, explaining why some homes burned and others

were spared.

Before the Santa Ana winds had died down, allowing

firefighters to douse the fires, Civil Air Patrol members

were called to duty. Many of them, like Keilholtz, were

under evacuation orders.

Every member of the Fallbrook Senior Squadron was

asked to leave their home … “everyone in my unit,”

said Maj. Joe DiMento, the squadron’s director of communications.


fact, they evacuated

the whole town.”

DiMento said

none of the seven

members of the

squadron lost their

home, but one came

close. “I believe the

house got some

smoke damage,” he


The October

firestorm was still

fresh on DiMento’s

mind weeks later. A

longtime California

resident, he helped

put it into perspective.

“This was not

only the closest,” he

said. “It was, I

think, the worst.”

DiMento and

other CAP members

conducted reconnaissance


“We sent CAP

pilots out to take

pictures,” he said.

“They (the 1st Air Force Rescue Coordination Center)

wanted to see if there were any hotspots from the


Keilholtz said about 30 members also were assigned

to search for possible victims in areas not easily accessi-

2nd Lt. Rene Caldera of the Falcon Senior Squadron does a final target

check before taking off on a photo-reconnaissance flight in the wake of

deadly Southern California wildfires.

Photo by 1st Lt. Matthew Scherzi, California Wing

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 3 January-February 2008

1st Lt. Tolga Tarhan, right, discusses CAP’s flight operations with 1st Lt.

Rick Woods. Both are members of the California Wing’s South Coast

ble to ground crews and to conduct airborne fire damage

assessments of various buildings, facilities and towers

used by both the military and numerous civilian


Seven CAP aircraft — six Cessna C-182s and one

Gippsland GA8 Airvan — responded. Flight and support

crews from as far north as Fresno, Calif., were


Flight operations

later continued for

about two weeks

from CAP bases in

San Diego, San

Bernardino and

Orange counties.

1st Lt. Tolga

Tarhan, incident


with the California

Wing, said CAP volunteers

were initially

given a list of about

100 critical infrastructure

sites to photograph.

Group 7.

“It was a pretty

daunting task for us,”

said Keilholtz, explaining that the flight area was very

large and still smoky, and there was heavy traffic in the

skies at that point. “It was a challenge to get good,

sharp resolution photographs and get them back to the

customer (the state of California and the Air Force).”

CAP’s contribution, however, was quickly noticed.

“Our imagery was so well-liked by the state that we

received several more major taskings. Some of them

were high-priority and needed to be done ASAP, and

some of them were long-term, potentially requiring

weeks to complete,” Tarhan said. “There were also

smaller taskings, such as transportation of equipment.”

Tarhan, who wrote a software program during the

mission to speed up the required labeling of aerial photos,

said CAP aircrews were able to fly lower than other

reconnaissance units and thus provide different angles

of the infrastructure. “That’s really where our value

was,” he said.

While the aircrews were doing their work, about 30

more California CAP members were helping man the

Regional Emergency Operations Center-Joint Forces

Training Base in Los

Alamitos, Calif.

“We were supplying

three members

per 12-hour shift, 24

hours a day, seven

days a week,” said 1st

Lt. Matthew Scherzi,

CAP mission observer

and public affairs officer

for the wing’s

Falcon Senior

Squadron in

Fullerton, Calif.

Scherzi said those

serving in administrative

positions in the

operations center

ranged from emergency


cadets to a former wing commander. “By doing

administrative duties, CAP frees up firefighters and

other state and local emergency responders for even

more critical duties,” he said.

Tarhan, who handled scheduling for the operations

center, said several CAP members worked multiple

shifts during the three-week mission.

“We were basically acting as state employees,” he

said. “The extra manpower was appreciated.”

On one early-morning shift, Tarhan said CAP volunteers

were “trying to figure out where we were going

to get hay for horses.” On another, they were tracking

down shower trailers for firefighters and other support


Photo by 1st Lt. Matthew Scherzi, California Wing

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 4 January-February 2008

“We did whatever it took,” he said.

“The feedback we received from the government has

been outstanding,” said Keilholtz. “The mission continues

the longstanding tradition of disaster relief support

by the members of the California Wing.”

The wing was used to transport equipment during

the 1993 wildfires that destroyed more than 1,000

homes in six counties in Southern California. During

the Los Angeles riots that began on April 29, 1992,

and for several weeks after, CAP members provided 24-

hour communications assistance at the operations center

at Los Alamitos. They also were involved in several

missions during the Northridge Earthquake in 1994,

which included 60 days of support to the Red Cross.

Tarhan said the recent wildfires missions showcased

the wing’s operations center capabilities.

“One of the things we discovered is a misperception

of our abilities,” he said, adding he anticipates CAP

will become a regular part of the operations center as a

result of CAP’s latest performance.

“It was definitely a good experience for us,” said

Tarhan. “It helped solidify how CAP can help in these

disasters in the future.”

Evacuees like DiMento were simply glad to help.

“My family was fortunate to have escaped the fire in

and around Fallbrook, while others lost everything they

had,” he said. “I'm just happy to have had people there

to help us.” ▲

“(This mission) helped

solidify how CAP can help in

these disasters in the future.

— 1st Lt. Tolga Tarhan

Heavy smoke from California

wildfires provided a challenge

for CAP aircrews tasked with

aerial reconnaissance.

Photo by 2nd Lt. Rene Caldera, California Wing

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 5 January-February 2008

CAP, Evergreen Aviation

Partnership Includes Two

New National Cadet Activities

By Kimberly L. Wright

Two new cadet activities —

an aviation academy and a

wilderness academy — will be

offered in the near future,

thanks to Evergreen

International Aviation Inc. of

McMinnville, Ore., and the

Civil Air Patrol.

Beginning summer 2008, the

Capt. Michael King Smith

Evergreen Aviation Academy

will introduce cadets to the

leadership, business, ethics and

operational knowledge required

for success in the aviation

industry. In addition, the

Evergreen Wilderness Survival

Academy will give cadets the

self-confidence, team-building

and leadership skills required to

meet challenges not only in the

wilderness, but also in life.

Preparations for the world-class

program will take place this summer,

with expert survivalists building

facilities, training approximately

30 instructors and performing other

prep work for the academy’s expected

launch in summer 2009.

Three cadets from each of CAP’s

eight regions will be selected to

attend the academies. Both will be

held in McMinnville, Evergreen’s

international headquarters, about

40 miles from Portland.

The academies will complement

more than 30 cadet special activities

held each summer in locations

across America. More than 1,250

Colin Powers, aircraft restoration director

of the Evergreen Aviation & Space

Museum, shows CAP Interim National

Commander Brig. Gen. Amy S. Courter

the construction site for its new space

museum in McMinnville, Ore. The

building, which will boast 120,000 feet

of exhibit space plus an education and

restoration area, is scheduled to open

next summer.

Photos courtesy of Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 6 January-February 2008

CAP and Evergreen International Aviation

personnel met recently in McMinnville to discuss

the company’s vision for the new cadet programs.

Participants included, from left, kneeling, Sgt. Dan

Knox of the Columbia Composite Squadron and

Cadet Fran Simmons of the South Coast Squadron;

standing, Marc Huchette, director of Public

Awareness and Membership Development, CAP

National Headquarters; 1st Lt. Gary Arnold,

McMinnville Composite Squadron member and vice

president of Evergreen Properties; Lt. Col. Les

Peterson, McMinnville Composite Squadron commander and events projects coordinator for Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum;

Delford M. Smith, founder and CEO of Evergreen Aviation International; CAP Interim National Commander Brig. Gen. Amy Courter;

1st Lt. David Bibbee, CAP member and member of the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum Board of Directors; Col. Ernie Pearson,

Pacific Region commander; Col. Ted Kyle, Oregon Wing commander; and CAP Executive Director Don Rowland.

youth participated in the programs

last year.

“Evergreen Aviation’s commitment

to youth, as evidenced by

establishment of the Evergreen

Aviation & Space Museum and,

now, these programs, is impressive,”

said CAP Interim National

Commander Brig. Gen. Amy S.

Courter. “The programs will ensure

that 48 outstanding cadets annually

have new opportunities to expand

their horizons and, in the process,

soar like eagles. CAP is proud to

partner with Evergreen Aviation in

this endeavor.”

“CAP and Evergreen share similar

key values,” said Delford M.

Smith, chairman of the Board of

Trustees at Evergreen Aviation &

Space Museum and founder of

Evergreen International Aviation

Inc. “We at Evergreen believe in living

lives full of higher purpose,

working hard and taking advantage

of opportunities. CAP exemplifies

the values we hold dear, so a relationship

with CAP seemed a natural


Evergreen International Aviation

Inc., a privately held global aviation

services company, is recognized as a

world leader in air freight and aviation

services. Customers include

other air carriers, aviation companies

and government agencies.

Evergreen’s relationship with

CAP spans more than 15 years. The

Oregon Wing’s McMinnville

Composite Squadron participated in

a private air show for Evergreen in

its first major project as a squadron.

From that initial involvement, a

partnership flourished. The

McMinnville squadron has since

worked closely with Evergreen on

several projects, including the

Evergreen Aviation & Space

Museum. As a result of this relationship,

several key museum staff

members are now CAP members,

and many squadron members are

registered museum volunteers. In

addition, the local squadron often

mans the CAP display at the museum,

and the McMinnville squadron

patch depicts the famous Howard

Hughes Spruce Goose, which is on

display at the museum. ▲

CAP’s Corporate Partners


Abacus Software

Air BP


America's Aircraft Engines

Cessna Aircraft

Consistent Computer Bargains

Engine Components Inc.

Epic Marketing

Estes-Cox Corp.

Evergreen International Aviation Inc.

Flight Schedule Pro

Goodyear Tire/Aviation Co.

Lear Chemical Research

Tanis Aircraft Services

Yingling Aviation

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 7 January-February 2008

[ from your national commander ]

Civil Air Patrol is uniquely positioned to serve America in numerous

critical ways. Our rich history of service includes three key areas:

unprecedented commitment and sacrifice in performing emergency

services and disaster relief missions, nurturing the leadership skills of

thousands of America’s youth and ensuring a continuous pool of science

and mathematics majors through our highly effective aerospace

education program. As we plan for our next 66 years of service, we must build upon

our strengths while capitalizing upon the challenges and the opportunities of today

and tomorrow.

Developing a stronger CAP to better serve America begins with good governance.

This requires accountability at every level, and from each individual member in CAP.

Governance includes the responsibility to manage our assets, adhere to a common

code of ethics and lead ourselves to new heights with integrity. Professionalism is the

key concept here, because it guides the way in which we work together. Everything we

do for the Air Force, partner organizations, the communities we serve and the general public must be marked

by professionalism. This is our No. 1 priority — to build public trust by providing high-quality public support

and, in the process, attracting and retaining high-quality members who function professionally in everything

we do.

We are working to ensure good governance nationwide by using our resources wisely. The Wing Banker

Program, now being adopted by every CAP wing, is paramount to our success in more effectively accounting for

all revenues and expenditures. This consolidated financial management program will ensure CAP can attain an

unqualified audit, which in turn builds public trust by substantiating unquestionable professionalism. As an

added bonus, the Wing Banker Program will also position CAP to be eligible for additional grant money.

Our consolidated maintenance program allows for infrastructure improvements. This, too, supports good

governance by ensuring our equipment is properly maintained and the cost is discounted through negotiated

group rates. We continue to replace our older aircraft while modernizing both our airborne and ground-based

communications systems, both of which heighten our response and bolster our effectiveness. Long-term infrastructure

goals include adding corporate partners, acquiring permanent meeting facilities where possible,

improving our vehicle fleet and procuring other equipment needed to expertly perform our missions.

Expansion of CAP’s School Enrichment Program by including a Junior Cadet Program for K-5 students

represents another major infrastructure change. This has the potential to shape the future of CAP’s recruitment

program while ensuring that youth of all ages across America have the opportunity to benefit from CAP’s character-building

cadet program. The prototype program is being field-tested this year.

Professional development of our adult members is also a priority. It is CAP’s duty to ensure our members

have the resources at their disposal to reach their potential as volunteers. The Great Start program is doing just

that by providing new members the information required to succeed during their first year in CAP. Expanded

online training will complement CAP’s emphasis on professional development for officers. We are also putting

more basic professional development courses online, making them more readily accessible to more members.

Good governance encompasses public awareness as well, and it is tied to our success in bringing CAP to new

heights. Too many Americans do not know what CAP does to serve their community. Our national marketing

plan is designed to consistently and methodically change that shortcoming by building CAP’s brand image. Its

success will hinge on the enthusiasm, creativity, vision and tenacity of members in the field to implement a

grassroots public awareness campaign that will ultimately positively affect every aspect of our organization.

Through good governance, CAP’s future will be even brighter than before. The possibilities and the rewards

are endless. Join with me as we reach together to create our future.

Always vigilant!

Brig. Gen. Amy S. Courter

Interim CAP National Commander

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 8 January-February 2008

Photo by Cadet Airman Laura Spiegle, Colorado Wing




Brig. Gen. Amy S. Courter


Don R. Rowland


Julie M. DeBardelaben


Steve Cox


Barb Pribulick


Neil Probst

Colorado Wing Brings Red Ribbon Week Message to 75 Schools

Chaplain Capt. Gordon Rourk, a Colorado Wing Drug Demand Reduction administrator,

answers questions from Federal Heights Elementary School students about a

Colorado National Guard helicopter that landed at their school in Denver as part of a

Red Ribbon Week observance. Eleven Colorado Wing members joined forces with

local Drug Enforcement Agency representatives, the Colorado National Guard

Counterdrug Task Force and other local groups to present the Red Ribbon Week

story to 75 schools — 62 elementary schools and 13 middle schools — from Oct. 15

through Nov. 1. The program also included a rocketry presentation by Capt. Michael

Lawson and special guest appearances by Miss Teen USA 2007 Hilary Cruz, several

Colorado Rapids pro soccer team cheerleaders and the team’s three mascots —

Edson the Eagle, Marco the Buffalo and Jorge the Racoon.

Feik Presented


Aviation Awards

Aviation pioneer CAP Col. Mary

Feik of the Maryland Wing

holds the 2006 Frank G. Brewer

trophy, which was presented by

National Aeronautic Association

President Jonathan Gaffney,

left, and Frank G. Brewer III.

She was awarded the trophy

in recognition of more than

65 years of personal and

professional dedication to

aviation education as a teacher, mentor, innovator, pilot, engineer and leader of

America's youth. Feik also was presented the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

2006 Tissandier Diploma, an honor bestowed upon those who serve the cause of

aviation through their work, initiative and devotion. The presentations were made

during the NAA’s Fall Awards Banquet held recently in Arlington, Va.

Photo by Bob McComas, NAA photographer


Susan Robertson


JANET ADAMS, Dan Bailey, Elizabeth Via Brown,

Kristi Carr, Donna Harris, Jennifer Kornegay,

Scott Johnson, Sara Poirier and Kimberly L.



Col. Virginia Keller

Director, Public Affairs

Maj. Dennis Murray

Public Affairs Officer, Maine Wing

Capt. Paige Joyner

Public Affairs Officer, Georgia Wing

Cadet Kristin Ruesch

Chair, National Cadet Advisory Council

Drew Steketee

Executive Director, CAP Historical Foundation


Go to daily for

squadron and wing news.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer is published bimonthly by the

Civil Air Patrol, a private, charitable, benevolent corporation

and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Please send all correspondence

to Public Affairs, 105 S. Hansell St., Bldg. 714,

Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6332, telephone 877-227-9142,

ext. 250, e-mail: Opinions expressed

herein do not necessarily represent those of CAP or the

U.S. Air Force. Civil Air Patrol Volunteer welcomes manuscripts

and photographs; however, CAP reserves the right

to edit or condense materials submitted and to publish articles

as content warrants and space permits.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 9 January-February 2008

Resident Flyboy

Not Ready To Land

By Sara Poirier

Board of Governors Member,

FlightSafety CEO Bruce Whitman

Still Piloting a Full Life


It’s 1956 in San Angelo, Texas. The Korean War is

over and the United States isn’t yet fully involved in the

conflict in Vietnam. Twenty-three-year-old Bruce

Whitman is getting his pilot wings from the U.S. Air

Force, and his mother, who traveled in an airplane for

Photo by Sara Poirier/Greenwich Post

Greenwich, Conn., resident Bruce Whitman, pictured at left at the Belle Haven Club, flew

a B-25 airplane like the one above during his time in the Air Force in the 1950s.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 10 January-February 2008

the first time in her life just to get there — more than

1,600 miles from her Stamford, Conn., home — is the

one pinning them on him.

It’s the proudest day of the young airman’s life.

Now fast forward 52 years. That rookie flyboy, now a

30-year Greenwich, Conn., resident, is president and

chief executive officer of a company that trains others in

aviation, doing everything possible to prevent accidents

in the skies above. At FlightSafety International, more

than 1,500 instructors teach more than 3,000 courses

for general, commercial

and military pilots;

maintenance technicians;

flight attendants; and


Part of the business

empire belonging to $52

billion man Warren

Buffett — the secondrichest

person in the

world after Microsoft’s

Bill Gates, according to —

FlightSafety is a company

that’s built on mutual

respect and teamwork.

Those two things, the

74-year-old Whitman

told the Greenwich Post

in an interview, are what

make the company work.

They’re also part of the 14-point manifesto that guides

Whitman’s life and company philosophy.

“I think we’ve done a great deal of good in aviation,”

Whitman said. “After all, in our industry we’ve probably

come farther in a shorter period of time than any other

industry. I don’t think there’s a lot lacking.

“I do think that the emphasis, as in any industry, is

always on well-qualified people. If we have the right

people with the right qualifications and the right attitude,

that’s what it’s all about.”

Interested in airplanes since he was a little boy,

Whitman said he never really thought he could cut it as

a pilot. He proved himself wrong, though, making his

way to the Air Force after being a seaman in the U.S.

Merchant Marine during his summer vacations from

Trinity College.

“If I look back on my life, aside from family, there is

nothing that’s given me more pride,” said Whitman of

getting his wings. “When the day comes and you’re

actually awarded your wings, it’s very exciting, very


After receiving his wings, Whitman said he volunteered

for navigator bombardier school, and then went

to the Strategic Air

Command in

Homestead, Fla. In

I enjoy most

trying to help young

people do what they

like to do with people

they like.

— Bruce Whitman

Longest Standing Member, CAP Board of Governors

1957, he was

appointed assistant

to the commander

of the Air Force


In 1958,

Whitman took his

last flight on active

duty, asking his

commanding officer

if he could take a B-

25 on a route

check. When given

the OK, Whitman

flew what he thinks

was the last Air

Force flight into

Cuba before Fidel

Castro came to power the following January — flying

from Homestead to Panama and then into Havana.

Flying as a captain in the Air Force Reserve following

active duty, Whitman attended George Washington

University Law School. While he didn’t graduate to

become a lawyer, Whitman said he did complete all the

required course work. Instead, in 1961, he was recruited

to be the No. 2 at FlightSafety International, then a 10-

year-old company. He was promoted to the No. 1 spot

in 2003.

“I guess I had that kind of patriotic feeling all my life,

but I loved airplanes, so the combination worked out,”

the grandfather of 11 said. FlightSafety International’s

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 11 January-February 2008

headquarters are at the Marine Air

Terminal at LaGuardia Airport in

Flushing, N.Y. When asked if the constant

takeoff and landing of airplanes during the

day ever gets to him, Whitman responded,

“The aircraft noise is music.”

“When I first got there, it was very

small,” Whitman added of FlightSafety as

a corporation, which now has more than

40 learning centers in the U.S., Canada,

France and the United Kingdom, training

more than 75,000 aviation professionals

annually. “It’s been a great ride.”

Photo courtesy of the Greenwich Post

Medal of Honor

Part of Whitman’s ride through life has

included his present post as chairman of the

nominating committee for the board of directors

of the Congressional Medal of Honor

Foundation, which raises awareness about the

country’s highest award for military valor, raises

money for initiatives that promote what the medal represents

and promotes the qualities of courage, sacrifice and

patriotism. Last year, John C. Whitehead, a World War II

veteran from Omaha Beach on D-Day and the landings at

Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Japan, was given the foundation’s

annual Circle of Honor Award for his efforts.

Calling the Medal of Honor recipients “a national

treasure,” Whitman said their stories exhibit “selflessness,

sacrifice and courage.”

Two books about the recipients have been published

in the past four years, the second within the past six

months. The primary purpose of “Medal of Honor:

Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty,” Whitman

said, is to “perpetuate the legacy of the recipients and

the medal.”

Each page is home to a 600-word vignette about a

recipient, including vital statistics and what got them

the honor in the first place. A recent photograph of each

recipient accompanies the piece.

“These are people who made it possible for us to be

here,” Whitman said of the honorees. “There wasn’t a

really good book about the Medal of Honor recipients.”

Bruce and Winki Whitman, above, have lived in Greenwich, Conn., since 1976.

They can frequently be seen on Long Island Sound in their boat, Winks.

No signs of slowing down

The parents of six — a real-life Brady Bunch, if you

will — Whitman and his wife, Sarah, known as Winki,

are active members of the Belle Haven Club in

Greenwich. Current chairman of the club’s admissions

committee and a former commodore and chairman of

its board of directors, Whitman admits he leads a

“blessed” life, and in doing so, knows the importance of

giving back to those around him.

“I enjoy most trying to help young people do what

they like to do with people they like,” Whitman said.

In an effort to do that, Whitman is involved with the

National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.;

the National World War II Museum in New Orleans;

the Civil Air Patrol, headquartered at Maxwell Air Force

Base in Alabama; and the Falcon Foundation, which

provides scholarships to those seeking admission to the

Air Force Academy who want careers as officers.

“I’m not retired,” Whitman insisted. “I’m not retired

today and I never want to retire.” ▲

Sara Poirier is assistant editor of the Greenwich Post.

Copyright 2006 Greenwich Post (Hersam Acorn Newspapers

LLC). Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 12 January-February 2008

On the Scene

CAP Makes History at

Search and Rescue Games

Lt. Col. Jeff Riley builds a fire during a SARSCENE Games survival scenario.

By Donna Harris

CCalling them games

seems a misnomer.


pit the best of the best in

search and rescue against

each other for eight hours of

intense competition, and for

the first time ever, the 2007

event included a team of

Civil Air Patrol volunteers.

Held in October in

Victoria, British Columbia,

the world’s only official

International Search and

Rescue Competition brought

together eight Canadian teams, two from Ireland and a

well-seasoned team of Hawk Mountain Ranger School

instructors determined to show off their American pride,

team spirit and superior skills.

The CAP volunteers held their own against several

paid teams, setting a standard for others from America

to follow at next year’s games in Newfoundland and


“The performance of the team highlights CAP’s status

in the world of search and rescue,” said project

leader Lt. Col. Joe Abegg.

Led by Maj. Amy Fierro of the CAP Middle East

Region, the team included Lt. Col. Jeff Riley, Capt.

Mark Kleibscheidel and 1st Lt. Elizabeth Wirth, all of

CAP’s Northeast Region. Maj. Bryan Watson of the

Pacific Region and Lt. Col. Laurie Watson of the

Northeast Region served as backup team members and

team photographers.

Photos by Lt. Col. Laurie Watson, Pennsylvania Wing

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 13 January-February 2008

CAP up to the challenge

The challenges tested the teams’ skills in six

lifesaving exercises:

• Survival Skills: Construct improvised shelter,

provide ground-to-air signal and build a fire to

boil water.

• Navigation: Negotiate two navigation courses

using compass bearings and paced distances.

• Emergency Scene Management: Manage the

aftermath of a staged light airplane crash with

multiple casualties.

• Skills Relay: Quiz of general SAR knowledge,

individual and team knot-tying exercises and

line-throwing event.

• Search Management: Develop initial management

and response strategy for search scenario.

• Detection: Scan terrain around defined search

path and identify objects of interest observed in

visual sweep.

“The most difficult part of the event was throwing

a nonweighted plastic

rope to a target,” said

Fierro, 38, of Newark,

Del. “In every civilian

emergency services

activity in the U.S.,

we carry a rope bag

and practice throwing

it to rescue conscious

patients from the

water. In past years, a

typical rope rescue

bag was used in the

games, but this competition

was different.

It was the equivalent

of trying to throw a

Wiffle ball on a piece

of cheap nylon rope

into the wind.”

Fierro, a CAP veteran

of 23 years, used her experience as an emergency

room nurse to help her team excel in the scene management


In a simulated plane crash in sub-arctic conditions,

the CAP team was able to contain the scene, treat the

casualties and search for a third victim that would be

triaged as deceased.

“The evaluators were extremely impressed with our

team’s abilities and array of medical equipment,” she

said. “Dr. Ken McCaskill of the Wilderness Medical

Society said we did so much better than the other

teams that he had to really dig deep to find any suggestions

for improvement. We were the only team

that actually got to the point of preparing a casualty

for helicopter evacuation.”

Though the American team led the pack in search

and rescue, navigation turned out to be a huge hurdle.

“The team naturally assumed the judges were giving

them magnetic headings and, in fact, the judges

were giving them grid courses,” said Abegg, 48, of

Eastampton, N.J. “The differences in magnetic head-

The American team made history as the first ever CAP team to participate in the SARSCENE Games.

Members are, front row, Lt. Col. Laurie Watson; back row, from left, 1st Lt. Elizabeth Wirth, Capt. Mark

Kleibscheidel, Majs. Bryan Watson and Amy Fierro and Lt. Cols. Joe Abegg and Jeff Riley.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 14 January-February 2008

ings and grid courses in

the western edge of

Canada are enormous.”

It’s not whether

you win or lose

While the miscommunication

might have

cost the American team

one of the top three

spots, it still returned

home with a winning


“The teams that took

first, second and third

were the only three fulltime

paid SAR teams,”

Abegg explained. “All in

all, our team members

presented themselves as

very professional and

represented the organization

with honor.

Most of the folks we

The skills relay line-throwing event tested the aim of 1st Lt. Elizabeth

Wirth. The event required participants to toss a nonweighted plastic rope

to a target.

encountered thought we were all paid rescue professionals

or U.S. Air Force active duty rescue personnel.”

Kleibscheidel, 35, of Whitehall, Pa., wanted the

first-place trophy but will settle for “the kind of experience

gained from friendly competition among like professionals,”

he said. “And to see how other peers

accomplish the same things we do.”

Though lengthy travel times were annoying,

Kleibscheidel liked the overall experience because of

“the ability to interact with SAR professionals, share

some ideas and techniques

and have fun.”

Riley, 48, of

Warriors Mark, Pa.,

enjoyed the scrutiny

of Canadian judges

and evaluators and the

chance to compete

against international


With 35 years in

CAP, Riley’s broad

scope of experience

finding missing aircraft

and people lost

in the woods made

him a valuable member

of the team. Riley

said he enjoyed the

chance to further

hone his skills.

Learning from


During the three-day conference following the games,

team members attended as many different training seminars

as possible, networking with SAR personnel from

Canada, the U.S., Iceland, New Zealand and Europe,

Abegg said.

Participants exchanged ideas and materials, and at

least 50 copies of the Civil Air Patrol Volunteer magazine

have now traveled from Alabama to Canada to parts

unknown, said Abegg, who also gave a CAP digital presentation

to an attentive audience.

I learned when you are up against the best paid search and

rescue teams, or during any actual search and rescue, you have to

be at your best, be ready for anything and know your craft.

— Lt. Col. Joe Abegg, project leader

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 15 January-February 2008

The conference met Abegg’s expectations. “I learned

when you are up against the best paid search and rescue

teams, or during any actual search and rescue,

you have to be at your best, be ready for anything

and know your craft. Lives or points depend upon

it,” he said.

“The games made up only eight hours of the

SARSCENE Conference,” Fierro said. “For the rest

of our stay we learned from some of the legends of

search and rescue. We shared ideas with our

Canadian counterparts, CASARA (Civil Air Search

and Rescue Association). We learned about arctic survival

from people born in igloos. And we learned new

training ideas and reviewed scenarios with members

of the U.S., Canadian and Irish coast guards.”

Fierro said the lessons learned during the competition

and seminars were invaluable. ▲

Capt. James Ridley Sr., public affairs officer, Northeast

Region, contributed to this story.

The Teams

✦ Avalon North Wolverines, Newfoundland

and Labrador

✦ Civil Air Patrol, United States

✦ Coquitlam Search and Rescue One, Coquitlam,

British Columbia

✦ Coquitlam Search and Rescue Two, Coquitlam,

British Columbia (Fourth Place)

✦ Elk Valley Titans, Sparwood, British Columbia

✦ Elk Valley Wildcats, Elkwood, British Columbia

✦ Gulf Islands National Park Reserve "Tsunami,"

Sidney, British Columbia (First Place)

✦ Irish Coast Guard, Ireland (Third Place)

✦ Prince George Ground Pounders, Prince George

SAR, British Columbia

✦ Sûreté du Québec, Montreal, Quebec

(Second Place)

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 16 January-February 2008

[ from your national safety officer ]

Col. Albert Scott Crossfield and James Steven Fossett. They are our

“Everyday Heroes Performing Missions For America.” These men, each

with many thousands of hours of flight experience, have one thing in

common. They are both human and as such are subject to the same human frailties

and standards as each of us.

We look at these men and others we may choose to use as mentors, father figures

or even heroes when we make the choice to pattern certain aspects of our

lives after them. What attributes do these people show that seemingly put their

goals and achievements far above the norm and make us fantasize ourselves in

their positions?

Let us take a look at each of these men. Crossfield was a fighter pilot during

World War II. In 1950 he joined the NACA, now NASA, was the first man to fly

at twice the speed of sound and flew the X-15 on 14 of its 199 total flights.

Crossfield also worked with North American as systems director of test and quality assurance in the company’s

Space and Information Systems Division. He was Eastern Air Lines’ vice president for research and

development and later senior vice president for Hawker Siddeley. Crossfield died in the crash of his personal

Cessna 210 on April 19, 2006.

Fossett set 116 records in five different sports, 60 of which still stand. On Sept. 3, 2007, he disappeared

in a single-engine Bellanca Super Decathlon. The search for Fossett was called off on Oct. 2, 2007.

These two men are related through their love of flying. They each had many years and thousands of

hours of flight experience. Why, then, did they each suffer a mishap doing the thing they enjoyed most —

flying? I am sure that neither planned his demise; therefore, we must look for other factors that have previously

caused others to suffer mishaps and will probably cause many more.

Some of the major reasons for aircraft mishaps are overconfidence in one’s capabilities, lack of situational

awareness and the failure to regularly hone the skills you obtained as you progressed through your pilot

qualifications. It has been stated that a pilot will never be as sharp as the day he/she prepared for a flight

check. From that point on there is a constant degradation of those finely honed skills.

Is it overconfidence to fly up a canyon to demonstrate yours and the aircraft’s capability to skillfully make

a 180-degree turn? Is it overconfidence to break minimum altitudes on an approach, because “I know I can

make a safe landing? Minimums are for those who have not attained my skill level.” Attitude has everything

to do with your safety and longevity.

When was the last time you heard “watch this,” or “we don’t need to perform a preflight or engine runup;

we will be able to reach the people in distress sooner.” Overconfidence may place you and your crew in

the position of being another victim instead of the rescue team.

Does every flight include a short field, soft field, crosswind takeoff or landing technique? When was the

last time you took a safety pilot along, so you could hone your IFR techniques, stalls, steep turns or ground

reference maneuvers?

Few of us have the flight experience of Crossfield and Fossett. And looking at that fact, we must look

inside ourselves; if it can happen to these men with their far superior experience, how can we expect to

remain safe as we fly? Here are a few suggestions:

• Leave your egos at home — they have no place around aircraft.

• Maintain situational awareness — never go anywhere where your brain has not gone five minutes before.

• Maintain your proficiency — it is easy to stay current, but are you proficient?

• Always use the risk management (ORM) process — this must be the first step of any flight and could

save your life.

There is no substitute for safety. As the adage goes, “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots; there

are no old, bold pilots.”

Col. Lyle E. Letteer

National Safety Officer

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 17 January-February 2008

The floodwaters in the Coffeyville, Kan., area are tainted

with oil accidentally released from a breached refinery. A

team of CAP members from the Texas and Missouri

wings, accompanied by a member of the U.S. Coast

Guard, assessed the extent of pollution caused by the

flood using ARCHER technology.

Aerial photos by Maj. David Plum, North Central Region

By Kimberly L. Wright


or Not

CAP Aircrew Helps

Chronicle Oil Spill

As impressive as CAP’s high-tech tools are, they pale

in comparison to the high-caliber professionals who put

them to use, who don’t let illness or inclement weather

stand in the way of completing a mission. Such was the

case recently in Independence, Kan., where CAP members

from the Texas and Missouri wings partnered with

the U.S. Coast Guard to assess an inland oil spill.

Floodwaters from the Verdigris River, which drains

into Oologah Lake, had breached a refinery in the

flooded Kansas town of Coffeyville. A total of 71,400

gallons of crude oil had leaked, threatening the environment

and Tulsa’s drinking water. In order to better

determine the impact, the Environmental Protection

Agency requested assistance. CAP’s Airborne Real-time

Cueing Hyperspectral Enhanced Reconnaissance, or

ARCHER, technology was the perfect tool for the job.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 18 January-February 2008


For Capt. Toby Buckalew and Maj. Alan

O’Martin, both of the Texas Wing, getting to the

mission through torrential rains and flooding was

a challenge.

“Going over the south end of Lake Texoma on

the Red River showed the spillway in full bloom

and the Red River in full force from Oklahoma to

Texas, which was over the normal high water

level,” O’Martin noted. “It rained so hard we were

forced to slow to a crawl.”

Courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency


More challenges awaited them in Independence,

where they met up with the rest of the crew —

Maj. Bill Winkert, the pilot, and Capt. Mark

Anderson, ARCHER operator, both of the

Missouri Wing.

A preliminary flight revealed the extent of the

oil pollution.

“We could clearly see the oil on the river in the

low light just before sunset,” said O’Martin. “The

angle of the light was perfect for spotting oil

slicks. Further down south at the top end of the

lake we also spotted signs of oil on the water.”

When they returned to the hotel, the crew was

told not to drink the water.

“I found that simple things like having food,

potable water and a place to stay — something

we all take for granted — were very difficult to

find,” said O’Martin. “I can’t imagine how it was

for those that lost their homes. We were just visitors.”

After Anderson fell ill the next day, which

kept him grounded for the duration of the mission,

the team forged ahead, one person short.

Even in illness, though, Anderson found a way to

contribute. “He was available to run the ground

station to show EPA and the Coast Guard what

the ARCHER equipment was able to do using

mission data recorded that morning,” said



images of the

Coffeyville, Kan.,

area were joined

together to form a

mosaic, helping the

EPA determine

the extent of the

pollution caused

by the flooding.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 19 January-February 2008



The CAP team was joined the

next day by Ensign Amy Keferl of

the U.S. Coast Guard, Incident

Management Division, St. Louis.

The search area

“was originally set

at nine miles wide

and 40 miles long

with primary and

secondary areas of

interest,” but with

the help of

Missouri Wing

Director of

Operations Capt.

Chris Morris and

U.S. Geological

Survey personnel,

the team narrowed

the grid, “allowing

us to fly over both

primary and secondary

target areas

in a timely, costeffective


said Winkert.


explained how high-tech imagery

helped assess the situation.

“ARCHER continuously monitors

the scene it is capturing and

examines the hyperspectral signature

of each digital pixel it collects to

create an average,” he said. “Objects

exceeding the average are flagged as


ARCHER helped determine the

extent of the oil contamination by

comparing the hyperspectral data of

oil from the refinery saved from the

earlier flight with similar spectral

signatures in the area being surveyed.

“Sure enough, the chip sample

proved very effective in locating

many more spill sites along the river

and in the lake,” said O’Martin.

Maj. Alan O’Martin, Texas Wing, left; U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Amy Keferl; and Capt. Toby

Buckalew, Texas Wing, along with Maj. Bill Winkert, Missouri Wing (not pictured), took part

in the oil spill assessment mission, helping safeguard the environment and water supply.


The EPA was advised of the mission’s

findings within an hour of the

afternoon mission, and by 7 p.m.

the data was sent to the EPA office

in Kansas City, Mo., for further

analysis. Keferl said the data collected

from the mission “went into a

brief, and we were able to track

where the spill was and where it was

moving to.”

The information was also sent to

Carol Mladinich of the U.S.

Geological Survey in Denver, who

created a mosaic of pan imagery,

which she sent to the Kansas State

Emergency Management offices and

EPA regions 6 and 7.

“Overall I think we were able to

mobilize and

get the imagery

flown as quickly

as possible,”

Mladinich said.

“The CAP was

very good to

work with and,

as a result of

this effort, I

think we can

develop a set of

procedures and


for future

collaboration of

this nature.”

Keferl was

pleased to work

with CAP on

the mission. “It

went really

well,” she said.

“They were cooperative and very


Said O’Martin: “I felt good at

the end of the second flight knowing

we had succeeded in the mission

assigned and could help the

EPA and USGS in determining

the extent of the spill, and possibly

prevent further contamination

of the Tulsa water supply. That

made the 12-hour drive worthwhile.”

Photo by Maj. Bill Winkert, Missouri Wing

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 20 January-February 2008

By Steve Cox

Two of Civil Air Patrol’s best are being remembered

for their many selfless contributions to the volunteer

organization they served so valiantly.

“There were no finer members than Col. Dion

DeCamp and Col. Ed Lewis,” said Brig. Gen. Amy S.

Courter, CAP’s interim national commander. “Their

illustrious volunteer service, which collectively spanned

more than seven decades, touched innumerable lives.”

Lewis, the Pacific Region’s director of operations, and

DeCamp, the Nevada Wing’s commander, died tragically

on the evening of Nov. 8, when their CAP plane

crashed into the side of Mount Potosi 30 miles south of

Las Vegas. Lewis had traveled to Nellis Air Force Base in

Las Vegas to drop off a CAP airplane to be used as an

Aviation Nation air show display. DeCamp had picked

him up in a Nevada Wing Cessna 182, and they were en

route to Lewis’ home in Rosamond, Calif., when the

crash occurred.

Both pilots, described by colleagues as good friends

and even better CAP leaders, died at the scene.

The National Transportation Safety board is investigating

the cause of the accident.

“They were tremendously giving of their time and

energy and truly made a difference to those around

them,” Courter said. “They made indelible impressions

upon us, and we miss each of them greatly.”

Brig. Gen. Richard Anderson, who served as CAP

national commander from 1993 to 1996, said the year

Lewis was national vice commander (1993-94) was one

of his most productive years as national commander.

“Ed and I thought differently about many issues, and he

In this 1962 photo, CAP Col. Dion DeCamp climbs aboard an

Air Force plane during pilot training in Big Spring, Texas.

challenged me in a way that I had to think carefully

about the reforms I and the national board team later

brought to Civil Air Patrol,” said Anderson.

Anderson said Lewis was the absolute model of the

four CAP core values of integrity, service, excellence and

respect. “What you saw was what you got,” he said. “Ed




Cols. Lewis,

DeCamp Known

for Numerous



to Mission

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 22 January-February 2008

The backgrounds of both Ed and Dion were quite similar

— Air Force pilot, California Air Guard, airline pilot and love of

flying. Personality-wise, they were on the surface very different —

Dion more of a smiler, Ed with a serious expression more often than

not — but they became fast friends and confidants.

had a stoic and cool exterior, but that air warrior’s

veneer covered what many knew to be a soft, kind and

caring interior — and was betrayed, to those of us who

knew him well, with a trademark twinkle in his eye. He

was blunt and to the point — but always on the mark

— and always ready to

listen to any opposing


But Anderson said

the most telling test of

Lewis’ character came

after his term as national

vice commander concluded.

“Instead of

retiring from CAP, Ed

stayed with the program,

intensified his

involvement and made

numerous contributions

that have come to be

the hallmark of his service

and have earned him

the lasting respect of his

peers,” Anderson said.

“I think Ed will probably be remembered most for

his absolute dedication to the mission,” said Lt. Col.

George Harrison of CAP’s Georgia Wing. “He supported

it completely.”

Harrison met Lewis in 1962 at U.S. Air Force pilot

NASA’s modified DC-8 flying laboratory now carries the name of the

late Edwin W. Lewis below its cockpit window as a tribute to Lewis’

18 years piloting the unique science lab.

— Lt. Col. Shirley Timm, Pacific Region

training where Lewis was an instructor pilot and officer

training instructor. Now a retired Air Force major general,

Harrison serves as the Georgia Wing’s assistant director

of glider operations. He said it was Lewis who got

him “reinvolved and re-energized” in CAP, even though

he had been a member for

many years. Lewis was his

mentor and inspiration for

the CAP glider program.

“Ed turned me into an

active participant,”

Harrison said.

DeCamp’s commitment

to CAP was apparent during

the recent search for

legendary American adventurer

Steve Fossett.

“The search had been

going on for over two

weeks and the chances of

finding him alive were getting

slim,” said Sr. Mbr.

Ryan K. Smith, a retired

Oregon firefighter with the Nevada Wing’s Washoe Jeep

Squadron, who recalled working with DeCamp at the

annual Reno airshow during the height of the search.

“He was quite worried that the long days were taking a

toll on the flight crews and that eventually someone

would have an accident,” Smith said.

Photo by NASA/Carla Thomas

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 23 January-February 2008

Photo by Cadet Sandra Conklin, Nevada Wing

A smiling Col. Dion DeCamp, left, presents retired Army Col.

Patrick Carlton, a CAP lieutenant colonel now serving as the

Nevada Wing's assistant professional development officer, with

his Level III Grover Loening Award. The presentation was made

during the 2006 Nevada Wing Conference.

Fossett disappeared on Labor Day 2007 during a solo

flight in Nevada, and has not been found despite

the largest search in CAP’s modern-day history.

DeCamp’s wife, EJ Smith, served as incident commander

throughout much of the mission.

DeCamp’s concerns for CAP members

involved in the search were “running pretty darn

deep,” recalled the Nevada Wing’s administrator,

Capt. Shawn Brewer. “He cared about his people.”

That concern earned Ryan Smith’s immediate

respect, even though he had been a CAP volunteer

for less than a year. “I knew right then that

this was someone I would want to work for, no

matter what the job,” he said.

Safety was routine for both pilots, which made

news of their Nov. 8 crash even harder to accept. “Ed

was probably the consummate safety guy,” said Col.

Kenneth W. Parris, who dedicated his current tenure as

California Wing commander to the memory of Lewis.

“He was always talking about the importance of safety.”

Lewis and DeCamp shared a love for aviation. “Col.

DeCamp would come into the office nearly every day

and say, ‘It’s a great day for flying,’” said Brewer.

EJ Smith introduced DeCamp to Lewis at a conference

in Hawaii in 1988.

“The backgrounds of both Ed and Dion were quite

similar — Air Force pilot, California Air Guard, airline

pilot and love of flying,” said Lt. Col. Shirley Timm,

who served with Lewis in CAP’s Pacific Region.

“Personality-wise, they were on the surface very different

— Dion more of a smiler, Ed with a serious expression

more often than not — but they became fast friends and


NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, where Lewis

worked, dedicated its modified DC-8 flying laboratory

in Lewis’ memory. The DC-8 now carries Lewis’ name

below its cockpit window as a tribute to his 18 years of

piloting the unique science lab as a research pilot.

Such an honor is fitting, according to Anderson.

“When I think of Ed Lewis today, I would sum him up

with a single word: airman, with a capital ‘A,’” he said.

“He excelled in all dimensions of aviation, having flown

as an Air Force pilot, a Civil Air Patrol pilot, an airline

Col. Ed Lewis, right, poses for a photo with Brig. Gen. Warren

Barry, left, and Brig. Gen. Rich Anderson in the early 1990s. In

1993, Lewis was elected national vice commander, serving with

Anderson, who was CAP’s national commander. Lewis also

was Barry’s vice commander when he served as Pacific Region


Photo by Gene Sinner, CAP National Headquarters

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 24 January-February 2008

pilot, a general aviation pilot and a NASA research

pilot. One could arguably characterize Ed as the No.

1 pilot in all of Civil Air Patrol. In fact, if there were

such a duty title, he would have been rightly designated

as ‘Civil Air Patrol National Chief Pilot.’”

Former Iowa Wing Commander Col. Russell

Smith described DeCamp as “a pilot’s pilot” who

excelled at every task — especially those that were


Smith, who met DeCamp at CAP wing commander

school in 2003, later moved to Nevada. “A

job change brought me here,” he said. Smith stayed

active in CAP as commander of the Douglas County

(Nev.) Composite Squadron and often visited with

his friend. “Dion taught me to be a glider tow pilot,”

he said. “At one time, I believe we were the only ones

in the Nevada Wing.”

The fact that DeCamp was even involved in the

glider program was noteworthy, Smith said, because

it showed his commitment to the mission.

“At first, he was skeptical about the program,” said

Col. Ralph Miller, who succeeded DeCamp as

Nevada Wing commander. “Once he saw there was

support and enthusiasm, he jumped in with both


He became “a great advocate” of the glider program,

said Smith. “He was always willing to try new

things, always open to new ideas.”

That was one of the qualities that made DeCamp

one of the Nevada Wing’s best commanders.

Miller said DeCamp did “a fantastic job” of fostering

cooperation between the Nevada Wing squadrons.

“During his tenure the squadrons began to cooperate

closely in all areas that made sense, and evolved informal

processes for optimizing the use of resources,” he


DeCamp was a leader who coaxed performance

from his team, according to Miller. “Dion did not

demand; he simply encouraged, worked hard himself,

smoothed the rough edges and produced remarkable

results,” Miller said.

“Ed and Dion will both be hard to replace,” said

Timm, “but not hard to remember as friends.” ▲

Edwin W. Lewis Jr.

Age: 71

Hometown: Rosamond, Calif.

CAP rank: Colonel

CAP duties: Director of Operations,

Pacific Region

CAP background: Served in CAP for more than 55

years. Served as region adviser during CAP’s search for

legendary American adventurer Steve Fossett. Was a former

national vice commander, elected in August 1993.

Served in that capacity for one year. Before that, served as

Pacific Region commander for four years. Also, was

California Wing commander from 1978 to 1982.

Professional background: Was a CAP and Air Force

command pilot with more than 28,000 flight hours.

Retired from Pan Am as a commercial airline pilot in

1989 to become a research pilot with NASA. Since 1997,

worked at Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air

Force Base, Calif., where he instructed in four aircraft —

C-12, C-20A, DC-8 and T-34C — supporting NASA-

Dryden flight test programs. Also, was the center’s aviation

safety officer.

Dion E. DeCamp

Age: 73

Hometown: Reno, Nev.

CAP rank: Colonel

CAP duties: Commander, Nevada


CAP background: Had been commander of the

Nevada Wing since 2003. Was one week away from relinquishing

command at the time of his death. Led the

wing’s search efforts for Fossett. (His wife, Lt. Col. EJ

Smith, served as incident commander throughout much

of the mission.) Joined CAP in 1994, having served as

Nevada Wing director of operations, vice commander,

representative to the Nevada state SAR Board and Pacific

Region director of operations training before becoming

wing commander.

Professional background: Was a CAP and Air Force

command pilot with more than 27,000 flight hours.

Retired from the California Air National Guard. Served in

Vietnam and flew C-130 missions worldwide. In 1994, he

retired from American Airlines as a captain.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 25 January-February 2008


Lift Off!

Junior Cadet Program

Poised to Elevate

New Generation

A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter flies overhead as

part of the Junior Cadet Program liftoff celebration.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 26 January-February 2008

IIn Boaz, Ala., a throng of children of all ages

buzzed with anticipation at the biggest thing to

hit this small northern Alabama town of more

than 7,000 in a while — the liftoff celebration of

the national Junior Cadet Program. The roar of

an Army Black Hawk helicopter and the buzz of

a CAP Cessna overhead, as well as the much quieter

launch of student-propelled paper airplanes and

boomerangs, added to the excitement.

The event was attended by the 2,500-strong student

body of Boaz City Schools, proud parents and faculty

and a host of local and national dignitaries.

In addition to Boaz, the program is being field-tested

this year in public, private and parochial schools in

Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and

Puerto Rico as well as other selected schools in Alabama.

Modeled after an extremely successful K-5 CAP School

Enrichment Program at Creighton School in

By Kimberly L. Wright

Philadelphia, the Junior Cadet Program is now taught

by some 300 teachers to 7,000 K-5 students. The curriculum

emphasizes vital life skills — character education,

academics with an aerospace emphasis, leadership

opportunities and physical fitness.

“We view Boaz as a visionary community dedicated

to addressing the workforce development needs for the

future,” said Susan Mallett, program manager for CAP’s

School Enrichment Program. “If the inner-city schools

in Philadelphia and the rural schools in Boaz, Ala., can

successfully integrate our Junior Cadet youth develop-

During the playing of the Junior Cadet Program’s theme song,

“Boomerang” by Charlotte Ritchie, participants were allowed to

throw boomerangs in support of the larger message — “Like the

flight of the boomerang, the choices made today will come back

to you tomorrow.”

Photos by James F. Tynan, CAP National Headquarters

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 27 January-February 2008

ment program into the school day, we feel any school

or school system across America can glean the same


All those assembled in Boaz for the national Junior

Cadet Liftoff Celebration had plenty of reason to celebrate.

Boaz was introduced to the Junior Cadet Program’s

predecessor — the middle and high school enrichment

program — three years ago. That program has paid big

dividends by teaching students valuable leadership,

teamwork and work-study skills, and it has instilled in

them the desire to set clear goals.

“The CAP SEP for America’s middle and high

schools is playing a major role in improving student

opportunity and responsibility nationwide,” said Col.

Al Applebaum, SEP team leader. “Teachers report better

attendance, better test scores and a lower incidence

of behavioral problems. With the addition of this

Junior Cadet Program, the benefits will begin at earlier

ages and will help build better youth for tomorrow.”

The SEP also has expanded students’ career horizons.

“These kids have never had the opportunity to be

exposed to aviation the way they have since implementation

of the CAP youth program,” said Dr. Randall

Haney, Boaz’s assistant superintendent. “These young

people now have an

expectation to be

involved in the aerospace


of the future.”

Though in a rural

setting, Boaz is actually

only 50 miles

south of two premier

aviation and

space facilities —

Marshall Space

Flight Center, one

of NASA’s largest

and most diversified

installations, and

Redstone Arsenal,

which has been the

heartbeat of the

Army’s rocket and

missile programs for

more than 40 years.

And, with a new

helicopter plant

nearing completion in neighboring Albertville, aviation

may play an even larger role in north Alabama’s future.

Cadet Staff Sgt. Adam Smith, 14, who credits the

program with helping him learn teamwork and workstudy

habits, knows what he wants to do with his life.

“I’m working to get my pilot’s license when I turn 18,

and I’m hoping to go to college at Auburn, get an electrical

engineering degree and go to work in Huntsville

(Ala.),” he said.

Showing off the banner for the Junior Cadet Program liftoff are, from left, first row, Cadet Airman 1st Class

Katie Young; Maj. John Burgin; Cappy, the Junior Cadet Program mascot; CAP School Enrichment

Program manager Susan Mallett; Cadet Airman Morgan Barefoot; and Honorary Junior Cadet poster

student, Myia, who attends Head Elementary School in Montgomery, Ala. Back row, National Chief of

Staff Col. Reggie Chitwood; Alabama Wing Commander Col. Michael Oakman; Southeast Region

Commander Col. James Rushing; SEP National Director Col. Al Applebaum; Boaz City Schools

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Randall Haney; and Jim Mallett, director of CAP National Headquarters’

Educational Programs Directorate.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 28 January-February 2008

“I learned a lot about search and rescue, and I

learned about aerospace education,” said Cadet Staff

Sgt. Ryan Erskine, 13, who has participated in the

Boaz SEP since its inception. “I learned about leadership,

and I learned a lot from other cadets. I loved

going to the National Emergency Services Academy

and the field-training exercise at Maxwell Air Force

Base (site of CAP National Headquarters). I feel I’ve

gained a lot from the program.”

Sonya Erskine, Ryan’s mother, said the program has

prompted noticeable changes in her son: “He’s more

mature and respectful,” she said. “He takes it real seriously.

When he’s in uniform, he’s like a different person.”

Sonya Erskine is proud Boaz is associated with the

national launch of the Junior Cadet Program. “I tell

everyone I work with they need to enroll in Boaz’s

CAP program,” she said. “The support

of the staff and faculty is


Other field-testing sites across the

nation have energized their schools

with their own liftoff celebrations that

featured airplane and helicopter flyovers;

rocket and hot-air balloon

launches; student essay, art and flight

contests; and motivational speakers

who lifted students’ hopes and


Community support is helping

ensure the program’s success.

“It is anticipated that Air Force

Association chapters across the nation

will see the potential benefits of this

program in their communities and

will follow the Montgomery Chapter’s

efforts by providing similar partnerships

for the future,” said Tom

Gwaltney, Montgomery (Ala.) Air

Force Association Chapter president.

The chapter currently sponsors five

Montgomery Junior Cadet programs.

Other supporters include inspirational singer

Charlotte Ritchie, whose song “Boomerang” is the

Junior Cadet Program theme song. Also, CAP’s Drug

Demand Reduction program has provided boomerangs

and posters to enhance the message shared with all junior

cadets: “Like the flight of the boomerang, the

choices you make today will come back to you tomorrow.

Make good choices for a healthy and drug-free


Fourth-grade student Dexton Lee Bowdoin of

Kinston Elementary School in Coffee County, Ala.,

eloquently expressed the program’s primary goal — to

expose young people to aerospace careers for the

future: “I’ve always wanted to be a baseball player but

now I want to be a flier,” he said. “Now I know what

my dream is.” ▲

Junior Cadet School Enrichment Program

Stats: 20 schools, 300 teachers, 7,000 students

Target group: Kindergarten through fifth grade

Began: Field testing in fall 2007

Focus: Academics with an aerospace emphasis, character education, leadership,

physical fitness and drug-free lifestyle.

Curriculum: Designed by educators, the program incorporates fun, hands-on

activities with 24 national standards-based lesson plans per grade

level, which are divided into six lessons for each topic — character

education, leadership development, physical fitness and aerospace

education. Each lesson is designed to fit in 30-minute blocks to

supplement any area of the curriculum. A school or community

service project option is also included.

Theme song: “Boomerang,” by Charlotte Ritchie

Message: “Like the flight of the boomerang, the choices made today will come

back to you tomorrow.”

Mascot: Cappy the Eaglet

Expected national launch: Fall 2008, with availability to any elementary school.

Middle and High School Enrichment Program

Stats: 69 schools, 265 teachers, 2,100 students

Target group: Sixth through 12th grade

Began: 1997

Focus: Aviation and space, leadership, physical fitness, citizenship, drug-free


Motto: “Building a better tomorrow one student at a time”

Mascot: Cadet Ken

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 29 January-February 2008


How has the School Enrichment

Program helped you?

“It has helped me out academically. It has helped

me to learn how to study better and get better test


— Cadet Staff Sgt. Adam Smith

“I’ve had to really learn to pore myself over my

work and strive to succeed. And that has helped me

in a lot of these harder eighth-grade classes.”

— Cadet Senior Airman Sam Gore

“It has really taught me to be open-minded

toward other people’s ideas and what they have to

say. It really helped me learn to focus more and

taught me humility.”

— Cadet Airman 1st Class Wade Benefield

What are your goals?

“I’m going to be an Air Force pilot, either Air

Force or Navy, as long as I get to fly and do what I

love. I hope I can either be a Blue Angel or a

Thunderbird pilot. That would be the best thing

ever, doing tricks in front of spectators and making

them happy.”

— Cadet Staff Sgt. Ryan Erskine

“I’m working to get my pilot’s license when I turn

18 and I’m hoping to go to college at Auburn, get an

electrical engineering degree and go to work in


— Cadet Staff Sgt. Adam Smith

“I really think I may make a career of the Air

Force and serve our country. And then I actually plan

on getting into architecture.”

— Cadet Senior Airman Sam Gore

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 30 January-February 2008

A Sopwith Moment

Squadron Salutes Snoopy

Patch’s Creator

By Kimberly L. Wright

MMore than just a mere ornament

on cloth, the Snoopy patch has been

an integral part of the Georgia

Wing’s Sandy Springs Cadet

Squadron’s infrastructure for four


Recently, the squadron celebrated

the patch’s 40th anniversary by paying

tribute to the man who created

it — former cadet and Vietnam

War veteran Joseph Congleton Jr.

More than Fabric

The patch knits together the

squadron’s past, present and future.

The squadron’s newsletter is called

“The Sopwith Camel,” the name of

Snoopy’s imaginary aircraft he used

to battle the Red Baron and the

actual name of an aircraft the

British flew during World War I.

The patch is also prominently featured

on the squadron’s Web site at and, of

course, on the cadets’ uniforms. In

fact, the squadron is often referred

to as “the Snoopy squadron.”

Cadet Commander 2nd Lt. Kyle

The original Snoopy Patch was created

by Joseph Congleton Jr., above, in

1967. Forty years later, the patch

continues to inspire the Sandy Springs

Cadet Squadron. Congleton stands by

his OH-23 helicopter during Warrant

Officer Rotary Wing Aviation candidate

training. He went on to use his aviation

skills to serve his country in Vietnam.

In a firefight on the ground, he

sustained injuries that severely

disabled him for life.

Strait said the patch is a wonderful

symbol for the unit.

“It’s one of the most unique

patches in the Georgia Wing,” said

Strait. “It’s very special to us.”

Squadron Commander Lt. Col.

Brian Berry noted, “The patch repre-

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 31 January-February 2008

Lt. Col. Brian H. Berry, commander of the Sandy Springs

Cadet Squadron, left, joins Joseph Congleton Jr., former cadet

commander, holding a copy of the Snoopy patch, alongside

Cadet 2nd Lt. Kyle J. Strait, current cadet commander. Inset,

U.S. Army Warrant Officer 1 Joseph E. Congleton Jr. is shown

in his uniform in this 1969 photo.

Photo by Maj. Michael A. Reed, Georgia Wing

sents the continuity of a

squadron that has done some

great things in the past and

plans to do wonderful things in

the future. It shows a determined

Snoopy facing a difficult

foe, taking a few hits on his doghouse

and yet, with either a grin or a grimace

on his face, working through

his problems and facing his challenges.”

Birth of the Patch

In 1967, Congleton, then the


cadet commander,


a young

man with a

bright future

ahead of him. “Joe was a very good

cadet, very motivated,” said Harry

Topliss, who succeeded him as cadet


He and his good friends Topliss

and Phil Braden decided the

squadron should have a unique

patch. Congleton created a sketch

The patch represents the continuity of

a squadron that has done some great things in

the past and plans to do wonderful things in

the future. It shows a determined Snoopy

facing a difficult foe, taking a few hits on his

doghouse and yet, with either a grin or a

grimace on his face, working through his

problems and facing his challenges.

— Lt. Col. Brian Berry

Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron commander

showing Snoopy perched on the top

of his doghouse in the guise of a

World War I flying ace.

The Snoopy cartoons were very

popular at the time. “The Flyin’

45th” referred to the squadron’s

charter number.

“We looked at each other and

said, ‘Well, let’s see if we can get

this approved,’” said Topliss.

Correspondence seeking approval to

use the patch generated a personal

letter from “Peanuts” creator

Charles M. Schulz, who responded

he was “flattered [they] should wish

to do so.”

The determined Snoopy atop the

doghouse has been the squadron’s

emblem ever since.

“In hindsight, it’s a wonderful

fluke of history, and I’m very, very

proud to have had any association

with it,” said Topliss.

The Ultimate Sacrifice

After graduating from Sandy

Springs High School in 1968,

Congleton received a nomination to

the U.S. Air Force Academy. When

flat feet kept him out of the academy,

he enrolled at Georgia Tech to

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 32 January-February 2008

Charles Schulz gave the Sandy

Springs Cadet Squadron permission to

use Snoopy in its patch in this 1967

letter to squadron member Harry


pursue a degree in aerospace


He soon decided college life

was not for him, so he joined

the U.S. Army to become a helicopter

pilot, advancing quickly

through the training regimen.

After graduating sixth out of

148 students in the advanced

Rotary Wing Aviator Course,

he was given the stick of the

Army’s newest weapon, the

AH-1G Huey Cobra. Before

long, the Army sent him to


While on a mission supporting

special forces near the

Cambodian border,

Congleton was severely

wounded when his detachment,

part of the 1st Cavalry

Division (Airmobile), was

caught on the ground in an

intense firefight. His war

wounds left him with severe disabilities,

including a diminished capacity

to communicate and limited use

of one arm.

Past Meets Present

The squadron recently honored

Congleton during a celebration of

the patch’s 40th anniversary. The

occasion included a presentation of

a proclamation from the city of

Sandy Springs honoring the unit for

its longevity.

“It was more than just a celebration

of a patch, a symbol. It became

an opportunity to honor Joe

Congleton for his service,” said


Nancy Wilson, Congleton’s sister,

said the honor meant a lot.

“He was very excited about being

honored for creating the Snoopy

patch,” she said. “I know he is

thrilled they are still using the patch

today. Not many things you do in

life still have an impact and meaning

40 years later.” ▲

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 33 January-February 2008

CAP Sleuth Tracks

Down Rogue

Distress Signals

By Kimberly L. Wright

Using technical expertise and his love of a good mystery,

the Hawaii Wing’s Lt. Col. Randy Leval has found

seemingly lost emergency locator transmitters, some in

unlikely places.

Leval said he relies upon more than 25 years of experience

as a police officer with the Maui County Police

Department and a lifetime of communications experience

dating back to his CAP cadet days to locate elusive ELTs.

Leval was called into action recently by Lt. Col. Tony

Schena, the Hawaii Wing’s director of emergency services,

to locate a distress signal detected near the coast of Maui

that had stumped the U.S. Coast Guard. He drove to the

coordinates the Coast Guard provided, near Kahului, and

scouted the scene with the aid of a handheld 121.5 radio

receiver. But it was not until he moved away from the

coordinates to the harbor that he hit pay dirt.

“You have to be a little bit of a detective and look at

the probabilities,” explained Leval. “For instance, I

thought it was a good probability to go to the harbor

because of the boats, since seagoing vessels also have special

transmitters similar to ELTs that sound in distress situations."

Leval discovered the signal was coming from a large

shipping container on a trailer holding an aircraft — a

white Hughes 500. The find had a Hawaiian flair, as

Hughes 500 helicopters are commonly used by sightseeing

companies in Hawaii, and one was featured prominently

in the hit TV series “Magnum P.I.”

He located and silenced the wayward ELT in less than

three hours.

Try to Detect It

Leval's ELT discoveries have included some oddities.

Once when searching in a residential area for an ELT, he

discovered the signal was emanating from inside a home.

“I’m pounding on the door and looking inside, and I

can see a small puppy playing with an ELT,” he said.

Another ELT search almost got Leval and his

squadron down in the dumps.

After Kahului Airport personnel failed to track down

a phantom ELT signal at the airport, the Maui

Composite Squadron was put on the case. Leval found

the ELT in a dumpster. The well-sealed container made

detection on the ground difficult, but the satellite was

readily picking up the signal through the top of the


Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 34 January-February 2008

“Somebody had a box of stuff they threw away with

this old ELT, and when they slammed it to the bottom

of the dumpster, that set it off,” he said.

“We were talking about it after the find thinking,

‘Boy, if this thing had gone to the landfill the next day,

it would have been difficult to locate and disable.’”

In another ELT find, Leval investigated a distress signal

coming from the edge of a residential area in

Lahaina. “I literally had to go digging through weeds

after figuring out where it was,” he said. “Somebody

tossed an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio

beacon, the maritime equivalent of an ELT) into a pile

of leaves thinking it was junk, but the battery was good

enough to be heard.”


Leval, who joined CAP as a cadet in 1975, discovered

through the organization a love for amateur radio and

technology. He became a qualified radio operator and a

qualified mission observer, both extraordinary feats for a

cadet. “Back then, I used to run the net control one night

a week,” he said.

“I’ve been around not only the techie part of communications

and electronics but also the operational aspect,”

said Leval, who was in charge of the Maui County Police

Department's 911 communications center for five years.

The center handles police dispatch for fire and medical


Leval obtained a private pilot’s license, an interest

linked to his CAP experience, and he is now a mission

check pilot. As to what it takes to become a multifaceted

volunteer, he noted, “The progression throughout the

years is OJT (on-the-job training) and a lot of tinkering

and determination. My experience with just radio in general

helped out a lot, knowing how radio waves propagate

in different situations and understanding reflections.”

Hawaii Wing Commander Col. Earl G. Greenia

applauds Leval’s volunteerism: “Hawaii Wing is fortunate

to have members like Lt. Col. Leval who have

the skill and ability to respond to unusual situations.

He is a tremendous asset to our wing, as well as the

community.” ▲

Photo by Capt. Jack Dixon, Hawaii Wing

Lt. Col. Randy Leval of the Hawaii Wing’s Maui Composite Squadron, shown here in an old photo at an exercise at Wheeler Air Base

in Oahu, Hawaii, is an expert at finding elusive emergency locator transmitters.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 35 January-February 2008

Forensic Anthropologist

Preserves History

By Elizabeth Via Brown

By Elizabeth Via Brown

EEven if it was filing papers and

completing forms, Maj. Lynn

Porter knew she could help the

local unit of the Civil Air Patrol.

That was back in 1988 at the

Eagle Rock Composite Squadron

in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Today she is

a CAP major trained to serve as a

ground team member,

observer/scanner, incident commander

and all functions in

between. Porter currently lives in

Pocatello, Idaho, where she

attends Idaho State University.

Porter said she had no real

search and rescue skills, but after

starting out as a scanner/observer,

she quickly learned the ropes. She

credits CAP with giving her the

confidence to pursue a field that

helps families find closure. “I finally

know what I want to do when I

grow up,” said Porter, a mother and


Now a member of the Idaho

Wing’s Joe Engle Composite

Maj. Lynn Porter of the Idaho Wing’s Joe

Engle Composite Squadron is a master

ground team leader.

Squadron and a master ground

team leader, Porter became interested

in handling and training search

and rescue dogs in 1991 at a Rocky

Mountain Region Conference. In

1996 she started an Idaho Wing

K-9 program. She is partial to

Photo by Jim K.

German shepherds. She has had

three, the last named Hannah, who

died a year ago but was a familiar

sight at Idaho Wing search and rescue

exercises and real-world searches.

Hannah and Porter logged more

than 100 search and rescue or

search and recovery missions. Their

non-CAP missions also included

homicide investigations and cemetery

relocations. Hannah did so

well, said Porter, the two teamed up

to work not only on open lost-person

cases, but also on cold cases,

some with high-profile attention.

While pursuing her studies at ISU,

Porter is currently “dog less,” but

fully intends to train another K-9

as soon as possible.

“She is very knowledgeable and

passionate about what she does,”

said Lt. Col. Lori Fletcher, inspector

general of the Idaho Wing.

Fletcher credits Porter with introducing

her to canine search and


Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 36 January-February 2008

Photo by Gary Franklin

Maj. Lynn Porter works with her dog,

Hannah, identifying graves along the

Oregon Trail. Before her death last year,

Hannah often attended Idaho Wing

search and rescue exercises and


Knowledge helps

high-profile cases

Recently, Porter assisted the

Oneida County Sheriff’s

Department with the reinvestigation

of a remote site connected to

the apparent murders of three girls.

She used her equipment and

knowledge to help sift through the

evidence in hilly terrain where the

bodies of two apparent 1978 homicide

victims were found in 1981

and unidentified remains were

found in 1986. Porter also has

worked on other high-profile cases

in Idaho.

With some credits in nursing,

she attended the College of

Southern Idaho in Twin Falls in

criminal justice and has put in

more than 200 hours of independent

study in forensic archaeology. A

senior in anthropology at ISU, she

plans to graduate next May with a

bachelor of arts in anthropology

and an associate degree in criminal

justice administration from CSI.

Following graduation, she plans

to attend seminars in forensic

archaeology, possibly even obtaining

a master’s degree in a forensics

program. She intends to pursue a

career working with law enforcement

in forensic anthropology. As

her ISU senior project, she is seeking

“members of the Doe family” in

all 44 counties in Idaho in an

attempt to match them to missing

persons through DNA and forensic


Forensic anthropology, she said,

is the use of detailed knowledge of

the skeletal anatomy to assist in the

identification of remains and to

identify the cause of death. It’s not

a glamorous job, she said, but a

very important one that allows families

to have closure and history to

be preserved.

“It gets into your blood,” said

Porter. ▲

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 37 January-February 2008

By Neil Probst

IIt wasn’t

the adrenaline

rush of


Patton all


Europe,” but

Civil Air

Patrol Maj.

Russell Loomis

nonetheless savored

his visit to National

Staff College.

The Army Air Corps veteran

flew the A-20 Havoc during

World War II. During missions

that sound similar in some

respects to CAP’s present-day aerial

imaging, Loomis, now 84,

would fly reconnaissance. He flew

the first of 28 missions just prior

to Christmas in 1944.

His plane dropped photo

Lt. Col. Michael Sperry, left, Maj. Frank Marcial and Lt. Cols. Melanie Capehart and

Newton Muehleisen study together during Civil Air Patrol’s National Staff College

held recently at Maxwell Air Force Base. Ninety-seven CAP volunteers graduated

from the school, which prepares CAP members for leadership roles

within the volunteer organization.

bombs that illuminated the high-level war planners.

European landscape below so onboard

cameras could snap photo-

colleagues for NSC, the premier,

Loomis joined 96 other CAP

graphs, which made their way to executive-level in-residence school

Photo by Susan Robertson, CAP National Headquarters


Staff College

CAP Leaders

Volunteers Take Critical Step Closer to Wilson Award, Higher Command

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 38 January-February 2008

that attracts top officers from

across the nation. They come to

prepare for high-level leadership,

and, along the way, they enjoy

learning about each other.

For Maj. Jacqui Sturgess, the

school’s reputation as an elite

source of “personal and professional

growth” brought her to

Maxwell Air Force Base.

Born in England, Sturgess

directs the Northeast Region’s

aerospace education program. She

also enjoys time behind the yoke

of a Cessna 172 at least once a


A Manhattan resident, she was

inspired to join CAP after the

World Trade Center attacks in

New York City.

At NSC, Sturgess said she

enjoyed bonding with her CAP

colleagues, as evidenced by the

high-five she received from Col.

Peter Jensen on graduation day.

“I have to say my expectations

have been more than met,” said


“I’m very impressed. It was a

wonderful week of top-notch

speakers, first-class presentations,

and so much stuff to think about

and take home,” she said.

Premier civilian, military and

CAP speakers presented information,

and then the volunteers

broke into 10 flights to discuss the

lectures and compete in team

leadership exercises. The topics

addressed challenges members

encounter in CAP as well as their

daily lives.

Sturgess said she’ll take the lessons

she learned back to the

Northeast Region and apply them

in her aerospace education work.

Lt. Col. Peggy Myrick, NSC

director, said the graduates must

complete NSC to earn their Gill

Robb Wilson Award, the highest

award given to members for professional


Wilson, regarded as a founder

of Civil Air Patrol, conceived of

the need for the organization

before World War II. He directed

efforts that led to CAP’s creation,

and his work was blessed by U.S.

leaders of his day, including Gen.

H.H. “Hap” Arnold and the Civil

Aeronautics Authority.

A desire to earn the honor was

definitely one reason Lt. Col.

Amos Plante came to NSC as a

student in 2001.

In 2007, he spent the week

assisting Myrick as her deputy


Plante, the Louisiana Wing’s

chief of staff, said he always shares

what he learns at NSC with the

members of his wing.

“I spread the gospel,” he said,

with a smile.

His impression of being at NSC

again mirrored what the 2007

graduates all felt.

“It’s been wonderful. I’ve

enjoyed every minute of it,” he

said. ▲

Lt. Col. Amos Plante

Lt. Col. Peggy Myrick

Maj. Jacqui Sturgess

Maj. Russell Loomis

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 39 January-February 2008


Vanguard Industries and CAP have a unique,

and mutually beneficial relationship


By Janet Adams

EEvery time you order CAPrelated

items from

or its catalog, you may not have

noticed the company retained the

same three-digit numbers you were

used to when ordering from

CAPMart prior to 2006 when the

change in vendors occurred. You

may have noticed that shipping

costs are now pegged to item

weight. And you no doubt will like

the recently added convenience of

choosing a shipping method. But

are you aware that every purchase

by a CAP member generates royalties

that benefit the entire membership?

This mutually beneficial business

partnership was initiated by

Vanguard director John McClain

and facilitated by former CAPMart

director Rita LaBarre (currently,

CAP membership services and

development assistant). When

McClain became aware of the close

affiliation of the U.S. Air Force with

CAP, he realized that, as providers

of insignia, medals and clothing to

the Armed Forces since 1918,

Vanguard was in the unique position

of being able not only to offer

Funds from the CAP/Vanguard royalty agreement are helping make this new

rappelling tower, currently under construction, a reality.

Photo by Lt. Col. DeEtte Riley, Pennsylvania Wing

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 40 January-February 2008

Photo by Lt. Col. DeEtte Riley, Pennsylvania Wing

Pennsylvania Wing then-Cadet Maj.

(now Cadet Lt. Col.) Sean McIntyre,

fourth from left, accompanied by other

Pennsylvania Wing members,

presents a check representing the first

payment for a new 60-foot rappelling

tower to the contractor, John Moriarity

of Kemper Excavation, second from

left, during a recent ground-breaking

ceremony at the Col. Philip Neuweiler

Ranger Training Facility at Hawk

Mountain, Pa.

a pertinent range of quality products

to CAP, but also to contribute

financially to a worthwhile volunteer

organization. In designing this

partnership, a special royalty agreement

was devised to return a percentage

of all CAP/Vanguard sales

to CAP. These funds are then combined

with matching CAP funds to

upgrade training facilities across the


Does the money really make a

difference? Just ask Wing

Commander Col. Mark A. Lee at

the Col. Philip Neuweiler Ranger

Training Facility at Hawk

Mountain, Pa. “We have a new 60-

foot rappelling tower, hot showers

and a great four-wheel drive Bobcat

thanks largely to Vanguard royalties,”

he said.

“In addition to improvements at

Hawk Mountain, Vanguard royalties

also contributed to recent

improvements at the Blue Beret

training facility at Oshkosh, Wis.,”

said Don Rowland, CAP National

Headquarters executive director. “I

believe our partnership with

Vanguard will continue to produce

not only a much-needed uniform

resource for our members but also a

great benefit in the

form of top-notch

training facilities for

our future. This is

truly a mutually beneficial

corporate agreement.”

Vanguard is constantly

upgrading customer

service and

expanding its product

lines, with the

increase in royalties

going into CAP coffers

for refurbishing

training facilities



Vanguard supports

CAP’s annual national

conference and sets up

booths at various

wing and region conferences to

showcase new products.

Partnerships like the CAP/

Vanguard Industries affiliation offer

a definite win-win scenario. ▲

Online Shopping

Vanguard shopper Capt. Anthony Beresford

of the Alabama Wing enjoys the convenience

of shopping online at

“They have a great online system. The site is

easy to navigate, order confirmations are

prompt and you can get updates on when to

expect shipping.”

Beresford also appreciates the personal

customer service he receives when calling about

or placing an order. “Charles Bostwick is most

helpful, and he will go the extra mile to see that

you get the right item in a timely manner.”

Editor’s Note: In the near future, software

changes will permit accurate tracking of orders

through various Vanguard departments, which will

also speed up order completions. Online orders may

be placed at; by fax to

757-857-0222 or by phone at 1-800-221-1264.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 41 January-February 2008

A Legend Reborn

CAP Subchaser



Sports Cars

by Jennifer S. Kornegay

Brian Cunningham, inset, is restoring one of his grandfather’s rarest cars,

the Cunningham C-3. “You can learn a lot about someone by exploring

something they made,” he said.

FFormer Civil Air Patrol member

and auto racing legend, the late

Briggs Swift Cunningham, lived his

entire life in pursuit of his passions.

The World War II CAP subchaser

designed and built race and streetcars

in the 1950s and ’60s — the

Cunningham C-1 through C-6 —

that are highly prized today by

sports car collectors. He was also a

highly regarded sailor who skippered

the Columbia to successfully

defend the 1958 America's Cup.

Brian Cunningham, co-owner of

a Porsche dealership in Lexington,

Ky., shares his grandfather’s sense of

adventure, and in an effort to reconnect

with the man he so

admires, is restoring a Cunningham

C-3. He’s repainting and revamping

it, and ultimately it will be a car

that is not only beautiful but also

fun and easy to drive.

“It is such a rare and unusual car

and, regardless of being connected

to it by family, I enjoy the design,”

he said.

Briggs turned his attention to the

fledgling Civil Air Patrol and became

a subchaser when he was rejected by

the military for unknown reasons.

He contributed to the war effort

alongside hundreds of fellow CAP

members by flying up and down the

Atlantic and Gulf coasts in search of

enemy submarines.

While his direct involvement

with CAP ended sometime after the

war, Brian said he has every reason

to believe his grandfather supported

the missions and goals of CAP until

his death in 2003.

“I don’t know as much about my

grandfather’s service with CAP as I’d

like to,” he said. “But I know he

loved to fly, and he was a very generous

man, very committed to the

things he believed in. I’m sure CAP

was one of those things.”

Briggs was also a trailblazer in

the golden era of racing, a worthy

peer of auto manufacturing and racing

names like Lamborghini and

Ferrari. “All the great sports cars and

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 42 January-February 2008

great sports car men came from the

’50s,” he said. “My grandfather

looked at the way American auto

manufacturing was going and didn’t

agree. He thought people should be

going for performance and handling

in a car, so he took it upon himself

to do something he thought was

different and better.”

Briggs owned and raced Jaguars,

Ferraris, Corvettes and many other

cars, but he is best known for constructing

about 40 handmade sports

cars in six variations under his own


“He had this aspiration to build a

quality race car, to build the best

American race car using American

equipment and made by American

engineering and labor,” said Brian.

“That’s why he used Hemi power

and Firestone tires.”

His ultimate goal was to win the

24 Hours of Le Mans (considered

by most auto racing enthusiasts to

be the greatest endurance race) in

an American car with American

drivers. Though he never achieved

that goal, he, his team and his cars

dominated U.S. sports car racing

for years.

The Cunningham models desig-

nated as street cars were initially created

so Briggs could earn the auto

manufacturer status required to

compete at Le Mans. “They were

the fastest production cars at that

time and the most expensive,” said


In addition to the Cunningham

C-3, Brian cherishes one other special

possession — an airplane carved

out of ivory that was given to Briggs

for his CAP service.

“It was passed down to me,” he

said. “I know it meant something

to him, so it means something to

me.” ▲

Briggs Swift Cunningham poses

with the plane he flew as a Civil Air

Patrol World War II subchaser.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 43 January-February 2008

Simulated Astronaut Training

Sparks Cadets’ Interest

In Aerospace Education

Wearing scuba gear and unable to communicate verbally, the cadets and

students used hand signals. The experience taught them valuable teamwork

skills, said Michigan Wing Commander Col. Michael Saile.

AAt first, Cadet Tech. Sgt. Emily

Selim, 14, wasn’t sure what to

expect from the program.

“My dad said, ‘Emily, you’re

applying for this.’ It sounded fun,

so I did,” she said.

Now, she can barely contain her

enthusiasm for neutral buoyancy, an

exercise usually reserved for astronaut

training, in which she and 11

other Michigan Wing cadets constructed

a simulated section of the

international space station in a

By Scott Johnson

weightless environment (a swimming

pool at a local high school).

The program included scuba training.

“It was incredibly amazing fun. It

was probably the best experience

I’ve had in my life,” said Selim,

whose interest in working with

space travel has blossomed into a

mission specialist career.

“I think it gave me a little bit of

a boost to realize this is what I’m

interested in,” said Selim, a member

of the wing’s Highpoint Composite


Neutral buoyancy had a similar

effect on the other cadets, said 1st

Lt. Howard Morris, the wing’s public

affairs officer. One cadet, for

instance, who planned on becoming

a doctor now hopes to work as a

doctor for NASA, said Morris, who

shot a video of the neutral buoyancy

lab project.

“It sparked enthusiasm about

space and space travel and all the

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 44 January-February 2008

Photos by James Stillwell

but now lists it as one

of her top three career

aspirations, along with

becoming a fighter

pilot or working in law


A Head Start

The lab experience,

along with the rigorous

application process that

mirrors the one used

for astronaut trainees,

provided a great head

start in achieving that

occupations that

might contribute to

that,” said Russ

Billings, a CAP


Education Member,

a NASA educator

astronaut teacher

and a physics

teacher at Kearsley

High School in

Flint, Mich., where

the lab was held.

Twenty-eight of his

students joined the

cadets as participants

in the program.

Cadet Tech. Sgt.

Dannie Fountain of

the wing’s Selfridge

Cadet Squadron said

she had no interest

in becoming an



the program

Astronaut Chris Cassidy, who went

through NASA training with Civil Air

Patrol Aerospace Education Member

Russ Billings, helped with the neutral

buoyancy lab.

goal, she said, adding, “I definitely

think if I’m going to be an astronaut,

I’ve got a leg up.”

The 13-year-old Fountain highly

recommends the program to other

photo by Capt. John Benavides, Michigan Wing

young people interested in space


“I think it would be a great experience

for Civil Air Patrol cadets

especially, and anyone interested in

that whole space thing,” she said.

Looking to the future

Already, the program has paid off

for Morris, who was invited to join

the ASSET Education Foundation

Board founded by Billings.

“I think what he (Billings) has

going on is just a phenomenal program

for young people, including

Civil Air Patrol cadets,” said Morris.

Billings said he hopes to expand

the neutral buoyancy lab into a

National Cadet Special Activity.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for

the Civil Air Patrol to interject itself

into public schools,” he said. ▲

1st Lt. Debbie Sandstrom of the

Michigan Wing contributed to this


Civil Air Patrol cadets, from left, Tech. Sgts. Emily Selim and Dannie Fountain, 2nd Lt. Walter Dumont

and Sgt. Jillian Haskins take a break during the neutral buoyancy lab project.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 45 January-February 2008


the Alaskan

New Cold Water

Survival Gear

Ratchets Up Wing’s



Photos courtesy of Mustang Survival

By Kristi Carr

Adding cold water

immersion suits to

their stock of survival

equipment will allow

the Alaska Wing to

expand its search and

rescue reach.


With its cold temperatures, remote and vast territory,

range of terrain and wildlife, it is perhaps not surprising

that 90 percent of Alaska’s residents have a first- or second-hand

experience with CAP search and rescue.

Two Alaska legislators — Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep.

Don Young — can vouch for the statistic. Young was

rescued by CAP in the 1950s when he broke his ankle

on a trip in the Alaskan wilderness. The rescue of

Stevens in 1978 was more dramatic. The small private

jet he was traveling in crashed shortly after takeoff from

Anchorage International Airport, claiming the life of his

first wife, Ann, as well as others.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 46 January-February 2008

Floatation devices and radio beacons are built

into the Alaska Wing’s immersion suits.

Photos courtesy of Mustang Survival


Having the right equipment to handle emergency situations

is so important in Alaska that the state issues a

quarterly publication listing what campers and day-trippers

need, depending on the season. The list, however, is

frequently ignored.

Alaska Wing Commander Col. Carl Brown told the

story of an elderly gentleman who, earlier this year, took

off in a four-wheel ATV in good weather on what he

thought would be a trip lasting just a few hours in the

remote northwestern portion of the state. But there was

an abrupt change in weather and the ATV couldn’t

make it back across the considerably altered landscape.

CAP arrived on the scene just before exposure won out.

“Let’s just say he was very glad to see us,” reported

Brown, adding that, “most don’t survive if they don’t

have the proper equipment.”

The list of emergency equipment mandated by state

law that Alaska CAP members must carry on flight

operations substantiates the potential challenges of its

rescue missions. In addition to a week’s worth of rations

and a mosquito head net per person, materials to start a

fire and two small signaling devices (such as mirrors,

smoke bombs and flares), the list includes an axe or

hatchet, a first aid kit, fishing tackle and a knife. For

winter survival, four additional items are required —

snowshoes, a sleeping bag, a wool blanket and a firearm.

Firearm? Yes, Alaska has an exception to the CAP regulation

barring members from carrying a firearm during

a mission. “I am often asked,” Brown said, “what the

best firearm to carry into the Alaska wilds is, considering

dangers from bears and other wildlife. All jokes aside,

the best ‘tool’ for any job is one the individual can safely

use effectively. And, more importantly, it is the one that

gets the job done.”


The Alaska Wing’s search and rescue capabilities were

considerably expanded recently, thanks to a $500,000

boost in its survival equipment allocation from


The hefty increase will be used to purchase 100 cold

water suits, each designed to limit exposure and each

equipped with a flotation device and EPIRB (emergency

position-indicating radio beacon), a one-way radio transmitter

capable of being tracked by satellite or dispatched

planes. There will be enough money to also pay for 20

survival rafts and training to use the new equipment.

Volunteers buy their own equipment and this partic-

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 47 January-February 2008

imately 8-14 hours of survivability,” Brown estimated.

“That can’t help but be appealing to someone in frigid

water with no protection other than a float and a survival

window of a slim 15 minutes.”

Shown here with former CAP Cadet Naythen Hansen on the

steps of the U.S. Capitol in 2002, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska,

has been a strong advocate for the Civil Air Patrol, especially

since his own rescue in 1978. Stevens, a former World War II

pilot for the Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force, served as legal

officer for CAP’s Alaska Wing in the late 1960s. Earlier this year,

he sponsored legislation that provides survival gear for 10 CAP

squadrons near Alaska’s coast.

ular survival gear was simply not affordable, said Brown.

So, before the legislation, the Alaska Wing concentrated

on rescues for which it was equipped.

“We have 10 coastal squadrons, but we weren’t able to

venture too far off the coastline,” he said.

“The exposure suits will give downed aircrew approx-


“Securing this funding has been a long time coming,”

said Brown. “This is a project we worked on for

at least six years.” He credits Sen. Stevens, Rep. Young

and Sen. Lisa Murkowski for their vigorous support.

As either the chairman or a ranking member of the

Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in the Senate

since 1981, Stevens has provided funding in the past

for purchasing CAP aircraft, and he authored current

legislation for the survival equipment, Brown said.

“It has always been one of my priorities to see that

CAP has the proper resources needed to accomplish its

mission,” said Stevens. “This new funding gives the

Alaska Wing exciting capabilities, which will increase

their lifesaving capabilities and improve the safety of

our search and rescue personnel.”


In addition to all the right equipment, there is one

other essential tool members must always take with

them on a mission. Brown calls it the Alaskan mentality:

“It’s a self-reliant, frontier-style, can-do attitude.”

“I know the majority of our CAP members would,

without hesitation, take considerable risk to search for

and rescue others,” he said. ▲

I know the majority of our CAP members

would, without hesitation, take considerable

risk to search for and rescue others.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 48 January-February 2008

— Col. Carl Brown,

Alaska Wing commander

Alaska Is Special: Bigger, Wilder, Colder

UUsing Anchorage as a fulcrum, the Alaska Wing’s range

can take CAP members all the way to remote Kotzebue, a village

some 450 nautical miles to the northwest going toward

Russia, or to Sitka a village about 475 to 500 nautical miles in the

opposite direction to the southeast. The Alaska Wing covers this area

with 18 squadrons, 10 of them on the coast, and about 1,200 members.

Alaska has more undeveloped, remote territory than not; its terrain

includes mountains, tundra, arctic ice, islands and ocean. Its land

mass is equal to about one-third the size of the continental U.S., yet

it has less than half the road system of the state of Rhode Island.

Seventy percent of Alaskan villages and cities rely on air travel as

their only means of year-round transportation. Though not a populous

state when it comes to humans, Alaska boasts a bounty of

wildlife, which often figures into rescue calls. An encounter with a

brown bear weighing in at more than a ton and standing 7-8 feet

tall on its hind legs, for example, can lead to serious injuries. Even

mosquitoes — dubbed by some to be the state bird — are a real danger.

A swarm can set off a stampede of caribou or wild buffalo, and

their collective venom can actually disable a person.

Then there’s the cold, winter temperatures that dip as low as -60

degrees Fahrenheit, not counting the wind chill. Even in warm

weather, water temperatures in inland lakes and streams rarely

exceed 35-40 degrees.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 50 January-February 2008


Gill Robb Wilson Award

Highest award given to senior members

who complete Level V of the

U.S. Civil Air Patrol Senior Member

Training Program. (Only about 5

percent of CAP senior members

achieve this award.) The officers

listed below received their awards

in September and October.

Maj. David A. Thompsen

Maj. Joel K. Buckner

Lt. Col.Jessica C. Black




Master Sgt. Cynthia S. Smith

Lt. Col. Antonio O. Lima

Lt. Col. Earle A. Partington

Lt. Col. Raymond E. Walden

Lt. Col. Eric G. Haertel

Maj. Marco E. A. Soave

Maj. Melissa Plum

Lt. Col. Michael E. Dolan

Lt. Col. Shannon D. Harlan

Lt. Col. Donna L. Ryan

Maj. Charles W. Sattgast

Maj. Charles W. Watson













Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award

Highest award for cadets who complete

all phases of the CAP Cadet

Program and the Spaatz award

examination. (Only about one-half of

1 percent of CAP cadets achieve this

award.) The cadets listed below

received their awards in September

and October.

Devin K. Boyle

Everett P. Hill

Maria T. Mangano

Elizabeth J. Peters

Janice A. Watson

Charles W. Matthews

Charles E. Watson

Robert H. Hawk









Paul E. Garber Award

Second-highest award given to senior

members who complete Level IV of

the CAP Senior Member Training

Program. The officers listed below

received their awards in September

and October.

Capt. Anthony G. Beresford

Lt. Col. Eddie B. Binkley

Maj. Michael F. Ernst

Maj. Elizabeth M. Mathis

Maj. Sergio B. Seoane

Lt. Col. Lee I. Taylor

Lt. Col. Gordon A. Larson

Maj. R. A. Maciejewski

Maj. Andrew P. Downey

Lt. Col. Brian C. Altmiller

Maj. Robert E. Couch

Maj. George R. Murray













Maj. Marco E. A. Soave

Maj. Larry E. Bailey

Maj. Sondra R. Davis

Maj. Daniel S. Thompson

Maj. Eric D. Grubb

Lt. Col. Robert E. Dehner

Capt. Cricket L. Arens

Maj. John P. Giles

Maj. Gregory Guy

Maj. Charles M. Roesel

Maj. Harold J. Frankel

Maj. Rita Marie League

Capt. William W. Parish

Maj. Julia A. Postupack

Maj. Robin D. Hawk

Maj. Douglas E. McCurry

Capt. Darlene J. Ferris

Maj. Harold B. Wilson

Lt. Col. Kent S. Wright




















Gen. Ira C. Eaker Award

Second-highest award for cadets who

successfully complete all Phase IV

requirements of the CAP Cadet

Program. The cadets listed below

received their awards in September

and October.

Bryan L. Davis

Devin K. Boyle

Kristopher A. Poskey

Stefanie L. Burton

Mitchell B. Campbell

Patrick C. Griffith

Matthew A. Kelly

Jeramee G. Scherer

Aaron J. Ullrich

Joy A. Bork

Michael H. Breiling

Nicholas H. Attardo

Christine S. Flatt

Nichole L. McCandless

William J. Romesberg

Felcar De Leon

Dennis J. LaFreniere

Cesar P. Riojas

Hayley A. Gardiner

Matthew G. Lenell





















Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 51 January-February 2008

Aircraft Maintenance -

Is this the career for you?

2 year program (2400 hours)

Low Tuition, High Job Demand

FAA certified program in

Airframe and Powerplant

Learn how to “Keep ‘em flying”


Call for more information:

200 Great Meadow Road

Stratford, CT 06615

Phone: (203) 381-9250

Fax: (203) 381-0764


Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 52 January-February 2008

[ region news ]

Great Lakes

Ohio cadets experience thrill of powerless flight

OHIO – Cadets from Firelands Composite Squadron recently enjoyed a first-hand encounter with nonpowered

flight, courtesy of an instructor pilot in a Civil Air Patrol glider. The cadets not only took to the air, they also served

as wing runners, helping move the glider into place on the runway for towing aloft by a powered plane, then running

alongside the glider to make sure its wings were level as it approached takeoff. They learned that a glider,

once released, can soar on thermals created by the heating of the earth’s surface, often remaining in the air for


“It was kind of scary taking off,” Cadet Airman Basic Joseph

Kreglow commented after his first glider flight. “But it was nice

and smooth after we released. Overall, it was great! I can hardly

wait to do it again!”

Added Cadet Staff Sgt. Francisco Martinez: “It is an experience

that cannot be explained in words. You have to try it

yourself.” >> Capt. Lori Douglas

Photo by Capt. Lori Douglas, Ohio Wing

Maj. Milton Moos of the Columbus Senior Squadron

guides Cadet Staff Sgt. James Kreglow in steadying

the wing as the glider gains speed for takeoff.

Photo by 2nd Lt. Walter Murphy, Maryland Wing

Middle East

Squadrons combine ground training with exposure to public safety operations

MARYLAND — Members of the Howard and Fort McHenry composite squadrons spent a full weekend recently

combining ground training with a look at public safety operations. After starting with instruction on how to pick a

camp site location and set up camp, the CAP members divided into five- to seven-member “hasty search” teams.

Then came a trip to the new Howard County Public Safety Training Center, where Police Aviation Unit officers briefed

them on the capabilities of the unit's helicopter and on landing-site

preparation and landing procedures. The CAP participants also

heard a presentation by the Howard County Police K-9 Unit, which

demonstrated the dogs’ capabilities and told them how to work

with police canine units during searches and how to set up search

perimeters. The week concluded with a tour of the county's mobile

incident command post.

Cadet Airman Joni Taylor, foreground, learns how to

use a compass with help from Maj. Terri Taylor, right,

while 2nd Lt. Jason Kerpelman observes.

The search teams then returned to the Base Camp to pick up gear

before departing for Howard County's Middle Patuxent

Environmental Area, where they practiced the use of rope “Swiss

seats,” compasses, maps, hasty searches and how to respond

when people are injured or missing. By the time they returned to

Base Camp, darkness had fallen, so each team received hands-on

training in using a third-generation thermal imaging camera to

detect missing people. That night, in appropriately frigid surroundings,

the teams learned about winter operations and how to avoid

hypothermia while camping at freezing temperatures. >> 2nd Lt.

Walter Murphy

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 53 January-February 2008

[ region news ]

North Central

Cadets Witness Thunderbirds’ In-Flight Refueling

MINNESOTA – Rather than travel to an airshow to gaze overhead at the

world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds soaring above, members of

the St. Cloud Composite Squadron took to the air themselves to watch the

demonstration team’s seven F-16 fighters being refueled in flight. Eighteen

cadets and five senior members flew across four states in a KC-135

Stratotanker winging its way to western South Dakota to refuel the

Thunderbirds after an engagement in Ohio. The Stratotanker, which can offload

6,500 pounds of fuel per minute, crossed North Dakota, South Dakota,

Wyoming and Nebraska during its three-hour mission.

Photo by Capt. Richard J. Sprouse, Minnesota Wing

Each of the thirsty Thunderbirds was refueled in about 40 seconds, according

to cadets timing the activity.

“They (the cadets) had lots of good questions and were a lot of fun to have

on board,” Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph Smith said. “I knew little about CAP prior

to the flight, but after being around the cadets I have to say, ‘What a great

program for young people.’”

St. Cloud Composite Squadron cadets

disembark from the KC-135 Stratotanker

they rode in during a mission to refuel the

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

Capt. Pat Cruze, who organized the visit through the 319th Air Refueling Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, said,

“The most beneficial part of the trip was taking these teenagers at a decision point in their life and allowing them to

see men and women only a few years older than them working with cutting-edge technology. “The tour exposed the

cadets to America’s finest, and hopefully the lasting impression the cadets got is ‘I can do that, too,’” said Cruze.

>> Capt. Richard J. Sprouse

Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Swanson, New Jersey


New Jersey cadets take remote-control route to flying

NEW JERSEY – Bayshore Composite Squadron cadets spent a weekend recently practicing their flight skills without

ever leaving the ground. Rather than taking orientation flights in Civil Air Patrol aircraft, they were behind the

controls of remote-controlled planes as part of what Capt. Ulric “Rick” Gordon-Lewis, the squadron's commander,

called the Sparrow Flight Academy.

Gordon-Lewis arranged a full two days of instruction, flying and outdoor camping for nine selected cadets. A

remote-controlled aircraft enthusiast, he first conceived of the idea during the spring, then followed through by

partnering with members of the Mercer County Radio Control Society,

who have a flight park in Hightstown, N.J.

Cadets were asked to apply for the flight academy, which Gordon-

Lewis wanted to keep small. One of those who accepted, Cadet Capt.

Carlos Pineda Jr., said he was “having a great time. I’ve been waiting

all my life to fly one of these.”

The instructors in the remote control society said the first-time flyers

were “doing really well, given the short time they’ve been here.” >>

1st Lt. Mark Swanson

Capt Ulric Gordon-Lewis, commander of the Bayshore

Composite Squadron, guides Cadet Senior Airman Jake

Popisil’s remote controls during the squadron's first Sparrow

Flight Academy.

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 54 January-February 2008

Photo by Maj. Bruce Hertelendy, Colorado Wing


Squadron steps up training for high-demand situations

CALIFORNIA – With California Wing authorities mindful of the demands that an unusual, extended mission like the

search for Steve Fossett can mean for participating Civil Air Patrol members, Jon E. Kramer Composite Squadron

recently hosted an exercise designed to train new mission base staff, aircrews and ground teams. The exercise

planners — Lt. Col. Mitch Richman of Group 2 and 1st Lt. Mike Dachs and 2nd Lt. Jackie Tubis, both of Kramer

Squadron — deliberately designed tasks intended to overwhelm the incident commander and operations branch

trainees. The exercise also provided opportunities for aircrews and ground teams to finish their advanced training

requirements for new emergency services ratings.

The incident commander trainees were forced to make creative decisions

to cope with:

• more missing aircraft targets and emergency beacon signals than

they could possibly have enough CAP members on hand to handle;

• a simulated earthquake and aftershock requiring the entire base to

run on a generator;

• a simulated radio operator injury; and

• radio communications failures.

Members also took turns becoming familiar with the two computer

systems used most often during CAP missions, the Oregon Wing's

Incident Management Utilities and the U.S. Air Force's Web Mission

Information Reporting System. >> Maj. Alice Mansell

Rocky Mountain

Colorado Wing holds inaugural Aerospace Education Day

Sr. Mbr. Elsie Lam of the Jon E. Kramer Composite

Squadron grins proudly after wrapping up her first

flight as a scanner trainee.

COLORADO – The Colorado Wing recently held its first-ever Aerospace Education Day, which featured such

activities as a fly-in, aviation museum tour, static aircraft display and presentations at Platte Valley Airpark. Senior

members, cadets, friends and family were joined by special guests from various institutions for the activities and

a fully catered barbecue luncheon. Professional pilots from the airpark's Vintage Flying Aero Museum also put on

an impressive aerial demonstration with their vintage aircraft.

Cadets competed for prizes in drill competition, provided flight-line marshalling, assembled CAP sailplanes, provided

color guard ceremonies, offered communications

support and set up an impressive model rocketry display.

The museum, which is run by the Lafayette

Foundation, is home of the largest collection of World

War I aviation memorabilia in the U.S., including the

famed Fokker triplane. The nearly 200 guests and

attendees had the opportunity to climb into the cockpit

of the aircraft on display.

Colorado Wing cadets check out one of the vintage planes

during Aerospace Education Day at Platte Valley Airpark.

One special presentation recognized the CAP aircrew

that first discovered Terry and Marion Jones, the couple

rescued from Rocky Mountain National Park just

three weeks earlier. The Joneses, who were special

guests for the event, met the aircrew for the first time.

>> Capt. Brian Smiley

Photo by Maj. Alice Mansell, California Wing

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 55 January-February 2008

[ region news ]

. Photo by Sr. Mbr. Nancy Kerr, Texas Wing


Florida squadrons help Cub Scouts fly high

FLORIDA – Members of the Tallahassee and Live Oak composite squadrons

spent a recent weekend amid hundreds of Cub Scouts and their families.

They were participating in the Cub Family Weekend at Wallwood Boy Scout

Reservation, the largest Boy Scout facility in northwest Florida, which hosts

the event every spring and fall. This year’s theme was aviation, and CAP

squadrons were asked to contribute.

Before the gathering commenced, several cadets and two senior members

spent most of one night building a 10-computer, networked lab out of

donated hardware and software, giving the Scouts a chance to get an online

feel for flying. Elsewhere, Maj. Bob Dunlop, the Tallahassee squadron's aerospace

education officer, set up a variety of hands-on activities, such as Alka-

Seltzer fizzy rockets, 2-liter water bottle rockets and a simulated aircraft-carrier

landing using a toy fighter plane sliding down a long piece of fishing line

tied to a control stick for landing on a beach towel runway.

Another group took to the woods, leading teams of 10 Webelos to help find

a simulated plane crash and bring back any injured passengers to a helicopter

landing zone. The Scouts were briefed on the equipment used and on the


Cadets send rockets soaring skyward over Texas

Cadet 2nd Lt. Lane Branch, left,

demonstrates use of the L-Per Portable

Direction Finder for a Webelo as Cadet

Airman 1st Class Carson Foote looks

on. The cadets are members of the

Tallahassee Composite Squadron.

operation of an L-Per Portable Direction Finder. Two local Medevac choppers stood by, not only waiting for the

simulated crash victim but also offering tours and a demonstration on how patients are loaded in emergencies.

>> Capt. Gene Floyd

TEXAS – Lackland Composite Squadron cadets participating in a

model rocketry course ended their training on a high note when they

launched their rockets at a nearby farm in San Antonio with their

instructor, Sr. Mbr. Brian Sommers.

The cadets spent three days building their model rockets and taking

written exams on all three phases of the course — Redstone, Titan

and Saturn. Along with teaching them basic knowledge of rocket history

and the proper safety procedures for launching model rockets,

each of the three phases also featured a hands-on component

requiring the cadets to build the rockets.

On the final day, Sommers and the cadets launched a grand total of

52 rockets, including Alphas, Terrier-Orions, Bullpups, egg-launchers,

two-stagers, high flyers and a 6-footer.

Photo by Capt. Gene Floyd, Florida Wing

Cadet Tech. Sgt. Kristopher Kerr, left, and

Cadet Airman Basic William Courreges

make final adjustments to their model

rockets before launching.

Ten Lackland cadets participated — Cadet 1st Lt. Jeffrey Cigrang,

Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Colleen Rojas, Cadet Tech. Sgts. Kaitlyn

Jewell and Kristopher Kerr, Cadet Master Sgt. Brian Rankin, Cadet

Staff Sgts. Nicole Miglis and Daniel Perez, Cadet Senior Airmen

Melissa Courreges and Katherine Sommers and Cadet Airman Basic

William Courreges. >> Sr. Mbr. Nancy Kerr

Civil Air Patrol Volunteer 56 January-February 2008

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